Workers Compensation: A Step-by-Step Guide for Filing in Iowa

Have you gotten injured on the job? Do you have a work-related illness? If so, you should apply for Iowa workers compensation. Here is a step-by-step guide to get you started.

Step One: Seek Medical Attention

The first thing you should do whenever you are injured is seek medical attention. Your well-being is of the utmost important. Plus, having a doctor’s record about your injury or illness may help if your claim is later disputed.

Step Two: Evaluate Your Injury or Illness

Evaluate your injury or illness. Is it work-related? If you are injured while on the clock or in the process of performing work-related duties, you should be eligible for workers compensation.

There are a few exceptions. For example, if you incur your injury while under the influence of alcohol or illegal substances, your claim will likely be denied. These intricacies are usually determined on a case-by-case basis. If you feel as if your claim has been wrongfully denied, you should contact an attorney for advice.

Step Three: Report Your Injury

You must report your injury to your employer, and you should do so as soon as possible. In Iowa, you have 90 days to notify your employer; that clock starts ticking as soon as you know – or should have known – of your injury.

To establish a paperwork trail, make this notification both in written form and by email. Do this even if you have verbally alerted your employer; this will help with claim disputes later on in the process.

Step Four: Verify Your Report

After you report your injury, your employer must file a First Report of Injury (FROI) with the Iowa Division of Workers Compensation (DWC) if one of the following three conditions are met: first, if the incident results in you missing more than three days of work; second, if the injury is permanent; third, if the injury results in death.

Contact the DWC to ensure that your employer has taken the appropriate steps. If your employer has failed to file the report, you may be able to sue them for compensation for lost wages and medical bills.

Step Five: Collect or Dispute

Keep receipts and bills related to the continued care of your injury or illness. You should be reimbursed for these costs. If your claim is rejected by the state or disputed by your employer, you may have to file an appeal in court. At this point, if you have not yet contacted an attorney, you should do so.

Your health is important. If it is negatively impacted while you are at work, you have legal avenues to seek compensation. Do not wait – start the claims process as soon as possible.