If you are injured on the job, Iowa law requires most employers to pay for your medical costs and lost wages. An injury may include any health condition that is caused by work related activities, excluding the typical building up and tearing down of the body tissues. When thinking about a work injury, many picture a work accident such as a fall or struck by injury, however, a commensurable work injury may also include conditions such as repetitive motion disorders like carpal tunnel syndrome, disease or hearing loss caused by work activities or exposures.
Disability Benefits for Injured Workers
In addition to medical benefits, workers who miss work more than three calendar days due to the injury may be entitled to temporary total disability (TTD). Payments will commence on the 4th day until you either return to work or are considered medically recovered to return to similar work as determined by your doctor. In the event you miss more than 14 calendar days after being injured at work, TTD may cover the initial 3 day waiting period also.
Temporary Partial Disability Benefits – Cannot Perform Same Job
In some cases, a worker is able to return to work, but cannot perform their original duties. Some may wind up taking a lesser paying job due to the limitations brought on by their injury. Under these circumstances, a worker may be entitled to temporary partial disability (TPD) which will pay 66 2/3 percent of the difference between your average gross weekly earnings (pre injury) and what you are making now to bridge the gap. The same three day waiting period applies to TPD.
Healing Period Benefits – No Waiting Periods
If you are injured and have what is considered a permanent impairment, no waiting period applies. You may be entitled to healing period (HP) benefits while in recovery beginning the first calendar day following the injury until you can return to work, or you’ve recovered as much as can be expected, or you are deemed medically capable of retuning to similar work.
Permanent Partial Disability – Scheduled Member and Body as a Whole
On top of healing period benefits, those that are injured to the extent they suffered a permanent functional impairment or can no longer earn wages similar to those earned before an injury may be entitled to permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits.
If your injury is to a scheduled member, such as a limb or finger, you will receive the corresponding number of weeks (see schedule) of benefits based on full loss or the percentage of loss multiplied by the full number of weeks. For example, if a worker loses full hearing in one ear, the schedule allows 50 weeks of benefits. However if there is a only a 20 percent hearing loss, the injury would be paid for 20% of 50 weeks, which translates into 10 weeks of benefits.
If your permanent disability is not to a scheduled member, it is considered a body as a whole or industrial. Benefits are determined by comparing you’re before and after injury earnings along with a variety of factors that speak to your lost earning capacity such as your work experience, your ability to learn a new job and many other factors. Industrial disability is calculated on a 500 week basis with the percentage rating multiplied by 500 weeks.
Permanent Total Disability Benefits
If you are injured at work and you are not able to return to any type of wage earning employment, permanent total disability PTD benefits may be paid.
Contact a Davenport Workers Compensation Lawyer
If you are injured at your Iowa workplace, it can have far reaching consequences. Getting the workers’ compensation disability benefits you are entitled to is your right as an employee. If you have been denied workers’ compensation benefits after suffering a work related injury, contact the law office of McDonald Woodward & Carlson PLC for immediate assistance at 563-355-6478.