Benefits, Payments & Settlements

Wage Loss Replacement through Temporary Disability Benefits

If you’ve been involved in a workplace accident that resulted in personal injury and disability, you may be entitled to wage loss replacement through temporary total or temporary partial disability benefits under Iowa workers’ compensation law. For more information about types of disability benefits and for which types of disability you may qualify, refer to the following.  Temporary Total Disability  A Des Moines worker who qualifies for workers’ compensation may be eligible for temporary total disability if an injury results in more than three days of disability. In the case that you are disabled to the point of not being able to perform any work duties, you may receive temporary total disability benefits beginning on the fourth day of your disability.  When you are capable ... Read More »

What is the workers’ compensation benefit for a permanent shoulder disability?

The maximum weekly disability benefit rate for Iowa PPD benefits is $1,419. The maximum weekly benefit for Iowa HP and PTD benefits is $1,543. Disability benefits of any type are not to exceed 80 percent of the employee’s weekly spendable earnings – which is defined as gross weekly earnings minus payroll taxes.  Workers who do a lot of lifting, overhead reaching, and other physical activities may be susceptible to serious shoulder injuries. A permanent shoulder disability payment can be classified in two ways:  permanent partial disability (PPD); and permanent total disability (PTD).  The length of time you will receive those benefits is dependent on the classification of your disability, as well as other factors.  Benefits if Shoulder Injury is a Partial Disability  Partial disability means ... Read More »

Workers’ Comp Disability Benefits for a Permanent Hand Injury

If a workers’ comp doctor has diagnosed with a hand injury that has resulted in a permanent disability, this means you could qualify for permanent disability benefits under the workers’ comp system. The amount of benefits you may receive – and for how long – is dependent on a number of factors, including your wages and impairment rating for your injury.  Permanent Disability Benefits in Iowa’s Workers’ Comp System  Your disability payment is based on 80 percent of your weekly spendable earnings. This is the amount that remains after deducting payroll taxes from your gross weekly earnings.  Next, you have to be categorized according to the type of permanent disability you have. The two categories are:  Permanent Partial Disability (PPD); and Permanent Total Disability (PTD)  ... Read More »

Is a workers’ comp settlement only based on impairment rating?

The impairment rating will play a role in your workers’ compensation disability benefits and ultimately a settlement you reach with the workers’ compensation insurance company. But it won’t be the only factor that affects your benefits if you suffer an industrial disability, also known as an unscheduled member injury.  Scheduled Member Disabilities  If you have a scheduled member injury, the impairment rating is usually the only factor in determining your worker’s comp disability benefits.  Examples of scheduled member injuries are those affecting:  eyes; hearing loss; arms; hands; legs; feet; and toes.  Each body part is assigned a number of weeks. For example, the loss of a hand is worth up to 190 weeks. Next, the doctor’s impairment rating will determine what percentage of a hand ... Read More »

Will a workers’ compensation settlement cover my lost tips?

If you work in an industry that relies mostly on tips to earn a substantial wage, you have valid concerns about whether or not a workers’ comp settlement will take into account your tips when calculating your disability benefits. The answer is: it depends.  Workers should understand how to calculate their benefits and the maximum and minimum compensation to which they’re entitled per Iowa’s workers’ comp laws.  When Your Tips May Be Counted as Income  Waiting tables, bartending, and other types of jobs that rely on tips may pay a modest wage by the hour. Many rely on their tips as a major part of their regular income. In certain fields, the tips are so substantial that losing them equates to a significant loss of ... Read More »

What types of workers’ compensation settlements are there in Iowa?

There are two types of workers’ compensation settlements that may be appropriate for Des Moines workers injured on the job: compromise settlements and agreement for settlement. Both types of settlements have to be approved by the Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commissioner (IWCC) before they take effect:  Compromise settlements: Employees may pursue this type of settlement if there is a dispute regarding whether the worker is entitled to benefits. If the worker and insurer gain approval of the compromise settlement, it ends the worker’s right to any future benefits for the particular injury.  Agreement for settlement: This is a type of settlement to which the worker and insurer agree regarding the amount and extent of benefits that the worker will receive. The difference is that the agreement ... Read More »

I had anterior cervical discectomy fusion surgery after a workplace accident, will workers’ comp disability cover me?

When a worker in Des Moines has undergone an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion procedure, recuperation could be long-term. Compensation through workers’ compensation disability benefits may be available if the injury was the result of a workplace accident.  Overview of an Anterior Cervical Discectomy & Fusion  When someone has sustained a herniated disc in the neck, it may necessitate surgically removing the damaged disc or a portion of it (discectomy). This is usually performed when the damage is severe.  For example, when pressure is placed on the spinal cord this can cause:  chronic pain; numbness; and weakness.  The procedure involves not only removing the disc but also grafting in a spacer bone (fusion). This bone graft prevents the vertebrae in the empty space from collapsing. ... Read More »

Can I receive workers’ compensation benefits after an annular tear?

Back injuries can be devastating, and can cause pain for the rest of your life. Annular tears in the discs of your spine can cause disc degeneration. If you have suffered an annular tear at work, or had an annular tear made worse by repetitive motions required at your job in Des Moines, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.  What is an annular tear?  The spine is made up of 33 vertebrae that extend along the length of your back. In between the vertebrae are intervertebral discs, which act like cushions between the bones of the spine. These cushions are filled with a gel-like nucleus pulposus, which facilitates the movement of the spine.  The nucleus is surrounded by a strong, fibrous membrane called ... Read More »

How much is permanently disabled back injury case worth to workman’s’ comp?

The value of a permanently disabled back injury case in workman’s comp depends on the impairment rating assigned by the physician as well as the employee’s wages and ability to work. The employer chooses the doctor who provides treatment and ultimately issues an impairment rating and assessment.  Determining the Degree of Disability From a Permanent Back Injury  Back injuries are one of the most common types of permanent partial disabilities suffered at work. As opposed to other injuries that may fall under scheduled body members, an injury to the back is an industrial disability (body as a whole or unscheduled member disability), so it’s possible to receive benefits for a maximum of 500 weeks.  The rate at which permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits are paid ... Read More »

How much is my Iowa workers’ compensation claim worth?

After suffering an injury at work, you may have many questions. How will I pay my bills? Will I lose my job? Is it worth filing a claim for workers’ compensation? How much will I receive for my loss?  Depending on your type of injury and its severity, you may be entitled to weekly payments of a percentage of your wages while you recover. Read on to determine what your workers’ compensation (WC) claim might be worth.  Types of Worker’s Compensation Benefits  The amount you receive for your WC claim depends on how your injury is classified. Benefit payments are made to workers whose injuries fall into one of the six basic types of WC claims:    temporary partial disability; temporary total disability; healing period ... Read More »

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