What Are the Different Types Of Disability Benefits Provided Under Iowa Worker’s Compensation Law?

There are different kinds of disability benefits for which injured workers may qualify. The four main types of disability benefits that workers may receive: temporary total disability (TTD), temporary partial disability (TPD), permanent partial disability (PPD), and permanent total disability (PTD). Other types of benefits for disability include death benefits, healing period, second injury, and vocational rehabilitation benefits.

What Are the Different Types of Disability Benefits?

Disabled workers may be eligible for types of disability benefits available in Iowa. These benefits serve to support individuals who can't work because of a disabling condition or injury.

Temporary Total Disability (TTD):

If an employee has a work injury resulting in more than three days of disability, then on the fourth day they are entitled to TTD benefits until the employee has returned to work or similar employment. The three-day waiting period becomes payable if the disability period is longer than fourteen days.

Temporary Partial Disability (TPD):

Temporary total disability benefits are paid if an employee returns to work doing a job for less pay due to his or her work injury. The TPD benefit must be 66% of the difference between the employee's average gross weekly pay at the time of the injury and the employee's current lesser pay. The three-day waiting period is also a requirement for TPD.

Permanent Partial Disability (PPD):

The employee may be entitled to PPD when a work injury results in a permanent disability. PPD benefits are in addition to the HP benefits and begin at the end of the healing period. There are two different kinds of PPD benefits:

Scheduled Member Disabilities

This is when a scheduled body member (i.e., arm, leg, hand, or eye) is involved in the permanent partial disability and is based on loss of use. There is a value (in number of weeks of benefits payable) for each member.

Unscheduled (Body as a Whole) Disabilities

This is when a work injury results in a permanent disability to the employee, but the injury is not a scheduled member. It is considered an industrial disability and is compensated based on the percent that the disability reduced the employee's earning capacity. It often involves injury to the back, neck, shoulder, or hip. There are many factors involved in determining industrial disability. There are no specific guidelines indicating how each of the factors are to be considered when figuring benefits. An experienced Worker's Compensation lawyer can provide you guidance concerning this.

Permanent Total Disability (PTD):

If an employee is incapable of returning to work because of their work injury, then the employee may be entitled to PTD benefits. These are paid as long as the employee is permanently totally disabled.

Other Types of Benefits for Disability

In addition to the main types of disability benefits described above, there are other benefits for which you may qualify.

Healing Period (HP):

While an employee is healing from an injury that caused a permanent impairment, he or she may be entitled to HP benefits starting the first day of disability until one of the following occurs:
  • The employee comes back to work and a doctor determines that it's not likely that there will be significant improvement of the injury, or
  • The employee can return to work and perform a very similar job that he or she was doing at the time of the injury.
It is important to note that no waiting period applies to HP benefits.

Second Injury Fund Benefits:

An employee has a PPD to one major body member (hand, arm, foot, leg, or eye) and sustains a PPD because of a workplace injury to a second major body member. The employee may be entitled to benefits from Iowa's workers' compensation Second Injury Fund. Contact the State of Iowa's Treasurer's Office to get a claim form.

Vocational Rehabilitation Benefits:

The Iowa Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services (DVRS) aids individuals with disabilities to find and keep employment. Benefits of $100 per week (up to 13 weeks) may be given to employees actively participating in a vocational rehabilitation program. An additional 13 weeks may be paid if approved by the Worker's Compensation Commissioner.

Death Benefits:

In Iowa, family members are entitled to death benefits if an employee’s death is a result of a work-related injury under the Iowa Workers' Compensation laws. A surviving spouse is entitled to benefits for the remainder of his or her life or, if he or she remarries, for an additional 2 years after that remarriage. Children are entitled to benefits to the age of 18 unless they are actually dependent beyond the age of 18 and then those benefits can continue under certain circumstances. If a child is in college, they can receive benefits up to the age of 25. Physically or mentally incapacitated children can receive benefits for the time they remain physically or mentally incapacitated. Depending upon the number of dependents (spouse and children), the workers' compensation death benefits would be split in some fashion. In addition to weekly benefits for the decedent’s family, employers are responsible for burial expenses and medical expenses as a result of the injury and death. If there are no dependents, then the only benefits that are provided are medical expenses caused as a result of the Iowa work injury and burial expenses.

An Attorney Can Help You Get the Types of Benefits for Disability

A workers' compensation attorney can help you maximize your disability benefits. He or she can investigate your claim, uncovering evidence that you need to prove your claim. Further, third parties are more likely to take your claim seriously if you have an attorney on your side. This can help smooth the path to compensation. The last thing that you want is for your workers' compensation settlement to not be paid on time. He or she can also help you prepare for the workers' compensation hearing.
Photo of Niko Pothitakis
For the past 15 years Mr. Pothitakis has focused his practice on Workers Compensation and Personal Injury Cases. The firm has two locations, one being in Burlington, Iowa and the other in Keokuk, Iowa. Mr. Pothitakis works with many area unions and employee organizations to provide advice, assistance, and guidance as it relates to employment issues. Mr. Pothitakis provides free consultations to those with legal questions in the firm's areas of practice. In this initial meeting or conference potential clients are provided advice on their need for assistance and how they need to proceed.