If you're pursuing a workers' compensation claim in Des Moines, the best way to check on your workers' comp status is to contact your attorney, who will communicate with the workers' compensation insurer and even your employer or the Iowa Division of Workers' Compensation. Alternatively, if you don't have an attorney handling your case, you could contact the workers' compensation insurance company handling the claim. You may even be able to contact the Iowa Division of Workers' Compensation at 1000 East Grand Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0209. The phone numbers are 515-281-5387 or (800) JOB-IOWA.
But keep in mind that it can take weeks or months to settle a workers' compensation case, particularly if there's a dispute over the worker's entitlement to benefits. Read on for more information about what might affect how long it takes to settle the case and what to do if you're having trouble getting updates on your workers' comp status.
What might delay the workers' compensation settlement process?
The short answer is disputes. If there's a dispute over whether your injury is work-related or the degree to which you're impaired, you may find yourself in a dispute with the workers' compensation insurer. This may require requesting an independent medical exam if you disagree with your impairment rating or exploring your options if you do not believe you are ready to return to work when your doctor – chosen by the insurance company – says you are able to do so.
If you find yourself in such cases, your settlement may take longer. It may require appealing a denied workers' comp claim with the Workers' Compensation Commissioner or taking other steps to get the benefits to which you are entitled.
What if my attorney won't provide me updates on my workers' comp status?
Your attorney should maintain open communication regarding your case. If you can't get through to your attorney's office or if your attorney never provides you with updates on your case, you may consider looking elsewhere for representation. If you haven't yet hired an attorney or if you're looking for a new attorney, make sure you understand how the firm handles communication. Ask if you will receive regular updates via telephone, email, etc., and if you can call for updates.
Do I need an attorney to help settle my workers' compensation case?
You may need a lawyer familiar with workers' compensation law who can communicate with the workers' compensation insurer and ensure you get the benefits to which you're entitled. This may be necessary especially if you suffered serious injuries or if the insurance company is not offering a fair settlement offer or is trying to deny that your injury or condition is work-related.