You can schedule or reschedule a workers’ compensation hearing by following the procedures provided on the Iowa Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) website. However, many workers feel intimidate by the process and fear they’ll make an error that could be costly for their case. An attorney can assist you with scheduling your hearing, as well as preparing you for the meeting, and helping you present the facts to the overseer.
Scheduling a Workers’ Compensation Hearing
The first step in scheduling a hearing is to look at the court calendar and determine which dates have openings. To check the calendar, you can visit the DWC’s hearing schedule page and select “Venue” in the left sidebar. After selecting blue arrow beside the appropriate venue, e.g., Des Moines, you can search in the third column for any dates that are highlighted in blue. These are dates that are available.
Once you’ve selected a couple of possible dates, you’ll need to make sure each party approves of the date(s) before requesting a hearing. You then email the DWC with your hearing request using the email address listed on the hearing schedule page.
When you request a hearing, you must include the following information in your email.
- The file number
- All parties' names
- Your preferred hearing dates and times
- The venue in which you want your case to be heard.
What You Can Expect at the Hearing
Your case will be heard by the workers' compensation commissioner, the head of the DWC. It’s the DWC’s job to administer, regulate, and enforce the workers’ compensation laws, and it’s the commissioner’s job to oversee disputes.
At the hearing, the commissioner is to remain unbiased, hear both sides of the case, and make a determination based on all the presented evidence.
Some of the evidence she can take into consideration when determining the outcome of your case include the following.
- New medical records
- Recent treatment results
- Your pain/injury journal
- New developments in your condition
- Records and notes from medical professionals
- Second opinions
Unfortunately, many workers’ comp claims are denied because of insufficient evidence. If you’re concerned with the outcome of your hearing, it’s wise to have a legal professional help you prepare for and present your case.
There is too much at stake to not have the support, counsel, and back-up you need at the hearing. Even the DWC states on its site, “Though not required, it is usually advisable to consider the need for legal representation when filing a contested-case proceeding.”
Rescheduling a Hearing
If you need to reschedule your hearing, you essentially go through the same procedure as mentioned above for initial scheduling. When you’ve selected a few possible dates and times and have cleared them with the other party, you’ll need to reschedule the hearing via phone.
You can call the DWC rescheduling number at (515) 281-6621 from 8:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., Monday through Friday. If you have hired an attorney to assist you, he or she will likely handle any scheduling or rescheduling for you.
Get a FREE Consult with a Workers’ Comp Attorney in Des Moines
To discuss your case with a workers’ comp attorney in Des Moines, or to inquire about how an attorney can help you prepare for a hearing and improve your chances of a successful claim, contact our office, Walker, Billingsley & Bair. Contact us today for a free consultation at 515-440-2852.