What Are the Requirements for Workers’ Compensation Eligibility?

Construction litigation
What are the requirements for workers' compensation eligibility? Broadly speaking, workers' compensation eligibility depends on if the injury is work-related and the worker filed the claim on time. Every situation is different, however, so the specific issues involved in each case vary. In addition, you'll need to prove that you hold a qualifying employment position, i.e., that you are not an exempt worker. Iowa Workers’ Compensation Benefits require employers to provide their injured employees with three types of benefits: medical care, temporary total disability benefits, and permanency benefits. These benefits are available to employees who are injured on the job or during performance of work-related activities. Determining eligibility in some cases may be complicated, especially if the employer or their insurance carrier is attempting to deny the claim. If you were injured at work, you have rights; however, you must first understand how those rights work and whether you are eligible for benefits.

What Are the Requirements for Workers' Compensation Eligibility?

The Workers’ Compensation Act is part of the Iowa Code. It states that employees injured at work are entitled to certain benefits for those injuries. The Workers' Compensation Act also covers occupational-related diseases and hearing loss. If you suffer a second work injury while recovering from the first, you may be eligible for Iowa's workers' compensation second injury fund benefits. The benefits are payable regardless of fault, meaning that even if the employee caused his or her injury, he or she may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Iowa law also requires most employers to carry this insurance. The law does not give a specific list of injuries. This is so that the employers can include any health impairment related to the job, as long as it is not the normal building up or tearing down of bodily tissues due to age.

Eligibility for Workers' Compensation: Who Can Collect?

Almost all employees in the state of Iowa who have suffered a work-related injury, illness, or a case of hearing loss can receive benefits. However, there are some classifications of employees that are exempt, including:
  • Domestic workers
  • Casual employees who work less than 12 consecutive months and earn less than $1500
  • Agricultural employees with employers who have a payroll of less than $2500 in a year
  • The spouse, parents, children, and siblings of an employer
  • Those engaging in exchange labor for agricultural work
  • The president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer of a family farm as well as their families
  • Police officers and firefighters who are entitled to different pension fund benefits created by the Iowa Code chapters 410 and 411
  • Members of a limited liability company
  • Employees who are entitled to benefits under any other rule of liability that was established by the Congress of the United States
  • Freelance workers and independent contractors
If you are or think you are one of these types of workers, contact a workers' compensation attorney to help you understand your legal rights. There are cases where your employment position falls under one of these categories, but your employer's workers' compensation insurance policy covers you.

When the Injury Didn’t Occur at Work

Sometimes injuries are work-related, but do not occur on the employer’s worksite. In these cases, the employee is still entitled to workers’ compensation benefits as long as they can prove the injury was due to their employment. For example, an employee making deliveries or headed to a business meeting could still receive workers’ compensation benefits if they are injured in a car accident.

To Help Determine Your Eligibility for Workers' Compensation Benefits, Contact Pothitakis Law Firm Today

If you have been injured at work, determining eligibility for worker’s compensation benefits can be difficult. Contact Pothitakis Law Group today for a free consultation with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. Call us at 866-753-4692 or fill out an online contact form and a member of our team will reach out to you shortly.

Other Posts You May Be Interested In

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.