When Should I Start to Receive Workers’ Compensation Payments?

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If you're expecting your first benefit checks to arrive, and they haven't yet, you may start to ask yourself, “When should I start to receive Workers' compensation payments?” When you start to receive your benefit payments depends on the law of the state from which you're receiving workers' compensation. Workers who think that they should be receiving payments, but haven't yet, should talk to a workers' compensation attorney in their state. 
Suffering a work injury can leave Iowa employees and their families in a difficult situation. When the injury forces an employee to miss work, the lost income can cause significant stress during an already frustrating time. As injured workers and their families focus on healing from the injury, they should not have to deal with this added financial pressure. The Iowa workers’ compensation system, like others across the country, offers payment for medical care and wage loss to prevent unnecessary hardship and aid in the employee’s return to work. Here, we take a look at the timelines related to these payments. Find out more about your benefits, what you can expect after a work injury, and what to do if your compensation is not being appropriately managed.

When Should I Start to Receive Workers' Compensation Payments?

Each state sets its own specific rules about workers’ compensation benefits and payment. In Iowa, payment commences at different times depending on the type of injury and the amount of work missed (and expected to miss). The state has set the following start dates for each type of benefit:
  • Temporary partial disability – On the fourth day of disability after the injury. If more than 14 calendar days of work are missed due to the injury, the initial three days will be paid.
  • Temporary total disability – On the fourth day of disability after the injury. If more than 14 calendar days of work are missed due to the injury, the initial three days will be paid.
  • Permanent partial disability – On the first after the termination of the Healing Period benefits.
  • Permanent total disability – On the date of the injury.
  • Healing period – On the first day of disability after the injury.
  • Workers' Compensation Death BenefitsOn the date of the employee’s death.
In some cases, the amount of the payout follows the workers' compensation body parts chart. 

When Can I Expect My Workers' Compensation Settlement Payment to Come In? What Do I Do if It's Late?

The state understands the hardship that injured workers and their families can experience during this time. As a result, the state workers’ compensation commission supports prompt payment of benefits. The law requires weekly payments be offered starting on the 11th day of the disability. It is typically necessary to provide verification of the injury from an employer and medical provider before payments begin, but those parties often provide these documents. If benefits are not paid to an injured worker when they are due, the employer or its insurance company may have to pay interest to the worker. Additionally, if workers' compensation settlement payments are not paid on time, are inappropriately withheld, or habitually late, the employer or its insurance company could face further fines and penalties. These fines and penalties are paid directly to the injured worker. If you think your employer is not paying the benefits you deserve, or if your payments are late, it is important to act as soon as possible. In many cases, you can resolve the issue by addressing the employer or insurance company directly. At times, though, it can be necessary to take the matter up with the state commission. In either event, an experienced workers' compensation attorney can help injured workers understand their rights and present their case effectively and thoroughly, ensuring prompt payment of the maximum compensation they deserve. Receiving workers' compensation after a business closing can be difficult, so it's critical to talk to an attorney to help make sure that you get the benefits you need. 

Termination of Iowa Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Once workers’ compensation payments have begun, they will continue to be paid to an injured worker until certain conditions exist, including:
  • The employee has returned to work.
  • The employee is medically capable of returning to work.
  • The employee is not expected to make significant medical improvement from the injury.
Benefits can be terminated immediately upon a return to work. However, the employer or insurer must give 30 days’ notice of termination of benefits, including a specific reason for the termination, if the benefits will end based on a medical opinion. Unfortunately, sometimes an employer lies to workers' compensation commission or their insurance provider to avoid the “hassle” of paying benefits to injured workers. This is unacceptable.  If you or someone you love has suffered an injury at work, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. If you have already filed a claim, and you are concerned about the timing of your compensation payments for a work-related injury, the experienced attorneys at Pothitakis Law Firm can help. Call our office today, or take a moment to fill out the contact form on this page to learn more about your rights and options as an Iowa worker.
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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.