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Workers’ Compensation Insurance in Iowa

Workers' Compensation Insurance in Iowa

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If your business has employees in the state of Iowa, you’ll need to make sure you adhere to Iowa’s Workers’ Compensation Insurance laws. Workers’ Compensation provides medical and financial benefits for employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses or for their survivors in the case of an employee death.

Who needs Workers’ Compensation Insurance in Iowa?

Iowa requires all employers with one or more employees to obtain Workers’ Compensation Insurance. In Iowa, an “employee” is usually defined as any person who has entered into or works under a contract of service or apprenticeship with an employer.

The Iowa Workers’ Compensation Act (WCA) defines all of the requirements for Workers’ Comp in Connecticut, and the Iowa Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) monitors, enforces, and administers the program. Ensuring your company is in compliance is critical, as there are serious penalties and fines for those who fail to abide by state regulations.

What employees are covered under Workers’ Compensation in Iowa?

Almost all workers are covered under Workers’ Compensation in Iowa. If you provide work or services for an employer, and you are not an independent contractor, you will likely be eligible for Workers’ Compensation Insurance.

The following are categories of employees that are eligible for Workers’ Comp coverage:

The following are categories of employees that are generally excluded from Workers’ Comp coverage:

What Workers’ Compensation benefits do employees receive?

Under Workers’ Compensation in Iowa, employers are required to provide the following benefits to employees who are injured in the course of employment:

Medical Benefits

Temporary Total Disability

Temporary Partial Disability

Permanent Partial Disability

Healing Period Disability

Permanent Total Disability

Death and Burial Benefits

What are the penalties for breaking Iowa Workers’ Compensation laws?

Failure to adhere to the Workers’ Compensation laws set out by the WCA can result in significant fines and even imprisonment. In order to avoid any costly penalties, it’s important to consult the WCA or your insurer to ensure you are in compliance. Below are the major ways in which companies can be penalized:

Failure to Maintain Coverage

Failure to Comply with Self-Insurance Requirements

Failure to Record or Report Claims or File Notices

Delayed Payments

Failure to Notify of Benefit Termination

Unreasonable Benefit Termination or Claim Denial 

How much does Workers’ Compensation Insurance cost in Iowa?

According to the National Academy of Social Insurance Workers’ Compensation Report (November 2020), the average employer cost for Workers’ Compensation in Iowa was $1.35 per $100 of covered wages. This figure is estimated across all insurers and all industries, so the cost to your particular business may vary.

How does the Workers’ Compensation claims process work in Iowa?

Employees should notify employers of work-related injuries within 90 days. For work-related illnesses, employees should notify employers within 90 days after the first appearance of symptoms.  

Employers must notify insurance carriers or the DWC if an employee reports a work-related injury or illness that results in more than three days of disability from work, permanent disability, or death. Reports should be filed electronically within four days of the employer being notified. Employers must make this report regardless of whether they believe the claim is compensable. 

Employers and employees are both able to resolve disputes informally by filing a request with the Commissioner. Employees who have not received benefits can file a contested case petition with the DWC within two years of their injury. Employees who have received any Workers’ Compensation benefits can file a petition within three years of the last payment date.

Iowa Workers’ Compensation Insurance Resources

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