When a worker gets hurt on the job, they will likely feel the impact of their injury immediately. They may need to leave their shift to seek out medical attention and may not be able to return to work until they recover.
Whether they got hurt at during a slip-and-fall while working at a retail shop or due to a falling tool at a construction site, the injured worker will often be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits as a result of their harm. How long will an injured employee need to wait to obtain workers’ compensation coverage?
Certain benefits will be available immediately
Although the claims process does take a while to complete, an injured worker in Iowa can potentially go immediately from work to a medical facility for treatment and have medical coverage that will apply to that care once they make a claim for benefits. However, they have to adhere to the rules for making claims, which will include filing the formal paperwork with their employer no more than 90 days after the incident that leaves them injured or the day that their doctor diagnoses them with a disabling medical condition.
The timeline for processing and approving the claim is different in every case, but usually the medical benefits are available from the same day of the injury until either someone fully recovers or achieves maximum medical improvement (MMI). The availability of disability benefits will depend on how long someone is away from work. Short-term or temporary total disability benefits usually start only after the third day of missed work, although those who miss more than 14 days of work will eventually qualify for coverage for those first three days as well.
In some cases where workers don’t receive benefits right away, an appeal may be necessary. Appeals can add weeks to the claims processing time but generally do not impact when a worker becomes eligible for different benefits. Bringing in a workers’ compensation lawyer to assist with a complicated claim can make it so that a worker can fully focus on their recovery instead of worrying about red tape and paperwork for the benefits they require.