Iowa Worker's Compensation - Help For Injured Iowa Workers

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  1. #1
    mystified Guest

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    I have yet to read something stating work comp in a way that I understand. I am an injured worker in Iowa. I don't have a lawyer at this time...everything has been paid for; dr's, knee surgery, PT, work comp checks...so I haven't felt I needed one at this time. I was wondering about whether there is a settlement in the end of the rehabilitation? Is there a pain and suffering settlement (it didn't appear as such), or a future medical expense settlement? I know of a case of a person having their lower ACL reconstruction screw removed after a year because it was bothersome. I know of another case of a reconstruction wearing out after about 18 years, now requiring another surgery. My other question is that now I am back at work, with restrictions, what are the legalities of me finding different employment? Would I have to wait until the doctor removes my restrictions, find alternate employment that would coincide with these restrictions, or am I unemployable until my injury is totally signed off, which is 4-8 months from now? Any help is much appreciated.

  2. #2
    sh Guest

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    Additional benefits are available for those with permanent impairments. "Pain & Suffering" is a civil liability concept; workers comp uses a "disability" standard.
    You can certainly work at any time as long as it's within your restictions. Many states have strong modified and early return to work programs.
    If you haven't visited the state of Iowa's website on workers' comp you can start here
    http://www.iowaworkforce.org/wc/faq.htm

  3. #3
    pooh Guest

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    Actually Iowa does go by the AMA 5th edition guide which does allow 1-3% added on to your percentage of loss for pain. This varies from doctor to doctor in Iowa as it will also vary from insurance company to company in Iowa. Some will add it automatically - especially if you are seeing a pain management specialist. So you can see you won't get alot for pain in Iowa. I think one of my friends that got it was given like an additional $1000 and that was all.

    As far as legalities for finding a different job. As long as a doctor says that you are able to work even with restrictions you can start looking for a job within your restrictions at that time. If a doctor has you off work, then it would be something to talk to the doctor on. Once you start working however, the weekly ttd checks will stop. Now once you are rated, then another thing to remember in Iowa - is that there is no lump settlement unless the insurance company does a compromise and release. In Iowa you are paid weekly your PPD and it won't matter if you are working or not - you will still receive the checks up to the number of weeks that correspond to the percentage of disability.

    You can work for another company and still get your medical benefits from the company that you got injured at. Watch out - although things are going good for you now - there may come a point in your claim that you may need to get an attorney involved. Some insurance companies are really good and will do things by the book. Make sure you are getting your paid mileage - that is only for any doctors you have to see out of town. The reimbursement rate in Iowa is 29 cents a mile.

  4. #4
    mystified Guest

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    What exactly is PPD? Also, does mileage count for physical therapy? Both are out of the town that I live in, but not out of the town that I work in. Where is the mileage acrued from; from where I leave to go to my appointment from where I am going to after my appointment; daycare to get kids, or is it figured from the same point round trip regardless. I guess if I do get paid mileage for doctor's appts. and PT appointments that are not in the city I live in, the insurance co is not being totally honest. I guess I have heard enough horror stories about others work comp cases, i.e. the employee getting fired that I don't want to rock the boat until I am employable somewhere else. Also, let's face it the job market isn't the greatest, even before you have restrictions.

  5. #5
    x Guest

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    permanent partial disability = ppd
    it means you've gone through treatment and they believe that you will never be 100% again. Doesn't mean you will get 100% of your pay, far from it...all depends on what your ppd rating is. Don't agree to anything until you confer with an attorney.

    Mileage I would do from home to office, pharmacy PT, whatever. Rand McNally charts it well. I don't believe they care about errands or daycare situations for the given day

  6. #6
    pooh Guest

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    mystified -

    I know the job market in Iowa is not the best these days. My case is also in Iowa.

    Are you getting time off for your appointments? If you are going to appointments during work hours you are to be paid. Now that means you get paid just for your shift or to the end of the shift. So if your appointment is at 2 pm - and your shift ends at 2:30 - and you have to leave work at noon to go to the appointment - then you would still be paid from noon to 2:30 pm. Some companies schedule the appointments for after shift - so they don't have to pay that time.

    Mileage is paid from point of origin to point of return - so if you are leaving work - then it would be from back to work. (Some companies require that you bring the company paperwork back same day.) If you are at home the day of your appointment then you would start from your house. I worked in the same city I worked in - yet my appointments were in Des Moines. So therefore, every appointment I had in Des Moines I got paid for traveling 200 miles round trip or about $58. You would need to list each appointment this includes doctors, x-rays, pt - all those things you have had to go out of town for. If you have had to get prescriptions filled out of town at a pharmacy of the companies choice - you would list those as well.

    The top of the form should be set up like

    Date From (city/State) Doctor Seen Miles (round trip)

    you will then list all the appointments you have had out of town

    At the bottom you would include your address, social secirty number and sign the form. If you know your case number include that - if not include date of injury. Then what you need to do is if you have the insurance companies fax number is fax it to your adjuster and follow up with sending a copy certified mail as well. If not just make sure you send it certified mail to the adjuster.

    As for waiting until you are employable - let me tell you - that once you start a comp case for some reason you will find it hard to get a job no matter where you apply in Iowa. The company is not suppose to tell others you are on comp - however, the state makes it simple enough for anyone to pull up information according to last name on the hearing schedule and a person can also search the closed files to see if you have a comp case listed as well (at least for 2003 and 2004) The comp court has got hearings scheduled already through Dec of this year. This is all public knowledge - on the pending court cases it just gives name - doesn't give why your on workers comp.

    I tried for 2 yrs after I got injured to get into a profession that would cause less damage to my shoulders - at first I would get the thanks no thanks letters - then even those stopped coming. Currently I am working part-time as that is the only job I have been able to find. What will help you is getting some additional education. Comp will allow 13 weeks of voc rehab - and an additional 13 weeks if approved by the court. You may also check into some classes while you are off work - maybe some courses over the net. Look at your options - talk to Job service, etc.

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