The majority of states provide employees who are injured and feel they are not being treated fairly by their employer or the state, options as to steps they can take to have their issues resolved. Some states make available the ability to pursue the matter in court, some offer mediation in a less formal setting. There are states which offer both, even assuming a percentage of the legal cost levied. Iowa is different. The state of Iowa tries to discourage injured employees who feel they are not being treated fairly from pursuing a legal cure. Iowa tries to encourage the employee to open dialogue with the employer and educates the injured worker in their rights under the law.
Unlike some states, Iowa permits the employer to select the treating physician. In this state, there are no restrictions placed on the time or the dollar amount of treatment. Iowa requires a waiting before workers who are injured while on the job can apply for benefits. According to Iowa Workers’ Compensation Law, an injured employee must wait for three days before applying for benefits. This, of course, does not apply to any Emergency Room treatment required at the time of the accident. Iowa law also offers retroactive pay for injured workers. Should the injury continue after 14 days, the employee would qualify for retroactive benefits dating back to immediately after the three day waiting period.
Each state will vary slightly from the others in some aspect of their Workers’ Compensation law. In most cases, the differences are not significant. However, Iowa has one area in which the difference is extremely noticeable. This difference lies in their death benefit. In almost all states, the death benefit paid to the surviving spouse and children. The benefit is an amount that is calculated using the deceased worker’s average weekly wages. Iowa is much different. In this state, the surviving spouse receives a weekly amount until their death, or they re-marry. Dependent children also receive a benefit until the age of 18, or 25 if they remain a dependent. The cap for the benefit is thirteen- hundred doilars weekly.
With the exception of Domestic and Agricultural workers, Iowa requires all employers to provide Workers’ Com. Insurance. The state takes compliance with the law very seriously. There are significant penalties provided tor those employers who do not see fit to provide this coverate.