Workers who have all kinds of medical conditions can obtain workers’ compensation benefits in Iowa. The benefits available include disability pay during someone’s leave of absence and full medical coverage for the required treatment.
Some medical conditions are easy to get benefits for, while others can prove more challenging for the injured worker. Repetitive stress or cumulative trauma injuries is a leading reason why employees file workers’ compensation claims. Such injuries are the result of frequently performing the same work, often for hours at a time without rest.
Repetitive motions can affect office workers, bus drivers and short-order cooks. Anyone who frequently performs the same job tasks day after day could end up struggling with a repetitive stress injury. Such injuries can be particularly challenging to address in re: a workers’ compensation claim for two distinct reasons.
1. Repetitive stress injuries are hard to accommodate
If someone breaks a leg, it is relatively easy for an employer to move them into a new position where they can remain seated through their entire shift even if they typically stand to do their job.
Repetitive stress injuries are often much harder to accommodate, as they may make any use of a hand, arm, shoulder, knee or leg painful. If the injury affects the back, a worker may simply need an extended leave of absence because no accommodations would be sufficient to prevent the worsening of their injury.
2. Repetitive stress injuries can be hard to connect to work
It can be a challenge to get benefits when someone has a repetitive stress injury. Some people even have to endure a lengthy appeals process. Pushback on such claims is possible even when a worker’s doctor feels like the connection between their injury and their employment is unquestionable.
The potential need for a lengthy leave of absence or a permanent change in job responsibilities means that such claims will be very expensive, making the likelihood of a challenge even higher. Those with significant limitations related to a repetitive stress injury may need help if they hope to get benefits to cover their care and lost wages.
Cooperating with an attorney during a complex workers’ compensation claim related to repetitive trauma injuries can increase someone’s chances of success.