Getting hurt on the job is more than inconvenient. It can be expensive and frustrating. You might incur thousands of dollars in medical expenses and require weeks of time off so that you can recover. Your budget and daily life will likely change abruptly after your injury.
Letting your emotions get the better of you after an injury is all too easy, but you need to stay calm and organized to protect yourself. Understanding your basic rights as an injured worker will make you a better advocate for yourself.
What is the basic Bill of Rights for someone injured on the job in Iowa?
They have the right to medical treatment
Iowa law requires that employers carry workers’ compensation insurance coverage to protect their employees. Workers’ compensation protects even brand-new and part-time employees. Even if you do not have health insurance, workers’ compensation can pay for 100% of the cost to treat your work-related medical condition.
They have the right to disability pay
Workers’ compensation also provides indemnity benefits that replace someone’s wages. If you require a leave of absence because you got hurt at work, you may qualify for short-term disability benefits during your treatments and long-term disability benefits if you do not fully recover from your condition. There are partial benefits that cover a difference in your earning potential and total benefits that protect those completely unable to work.
They have the right to ask for employer support
The Americans with Disabilities Act protects the right of workers with disabling medical conditions to request accommodations on the job. If you need to change your job responsibilities, work from home or use assistive technology, your employer should support you by approving those reasonable accommodation requests.
They have the right to appeal
Sometimes, workers make mistakes when applying for benefits or the insurance company makes a mistake when evaluating a claim. A rejection notice does not mean you must go without benefits. It simply means that you will need to appeal and gather evidence to strengthen your claim.
You also have the right to retain your job and to not face any kind of punitive work measures because you asked for benefits or accommodations. Understanding your rights when you get hurt on the job can help you get workers’ compensation benefits and other crucial support during your recovery.