UNDER IOWA WORKERS’ COMPENSATION LAW, THERE ARE FOUR BASIC BENEFITS:
1. Medical benefits: Your employer has to provide you with medical treatment related to your injury. The employer or the insurance carrier has the right to choose the physician. If you incur mileage expense, you need to turn that expense in to your employer or the insurance carrier for reimbursement. If for some reason you are dissatisfied with the employer or insurance carrier doctor, you can make application for alternative medical care. The Iowa Supreme Court has held that the employer’s right to select care is a “qualified right because the treatment must be (1) prompt, (2) reasonably suited to treat the injury, and (3) without undue inconvenience to the claimant. If the treatment the employer offers fails to meet any one of these qualifications, the commissioner has the authority to order alternate care, including care from a doctor chosen by the claimant.”
2. Temporary total disability/healing period: If you miss work, you are entitled to receive temporary total disability benefits. These benefits, as a general rule, are roughly 80 percent of your net take-home pay or two-thirds of your gross weekly take-home pay. If your injury results in permanent partial disability, your compensation shall begin on the fourth day of disability after the injury. If the period of incapacity extends beyond the 14th day following the date of injury, then compensation due during the third week shall be increased by adding there to an amount equal the three days of compensation. In other words, you recoup the first three days missed.
3. Permanent partial disability: If your injury results in a permanent loss of function or impairment, you are entitled to receive permanent partial disability benefits. Your right to permanent partial benefits is dependent upon whether or not your injury is to scheduled member or the body as a whole. If your injury is to the body as a whole, your right to permanent partial disability is based upon a concept known as industrial disability. Industrial disability means loss of ability to earn money. In most situations, industrial disability is more than just loss of function or impairment.
4. Vocational benefits: Our Iowa workers’ compensation system has a small monetary benefit for vocational training.