Last Updated: 4/20/2023

If you sustained a permanently disabled back injury, workman’s comp is available if it is work-related. In Iowa, you may be entitled to permanent disability benefits. Consult an attorney to help you explore your options and file a claim. A qualified attorney will handle your workers’ compensation case and deal with any objections or denials so you can focus on getting well.

What criteria do I have to meet to be eligible for workman’s comp benefits?

In Iowa, to recover workers’ compensation benefits, you must be able to prove that your injury is related to your work duties or environment. An injury, for these purposes, is defined by the Iowa Administrative Code as “any health impairment other than the normal building up and tearing down of body tissues.”

While many permanently disabled back injuries are the result of a sudden injury like falling from a height, some are related to overexertion over a longer period of time that can cause a serious back injury.

Can I receive permanent disability workman’s comp benefits?

If you have received a prognosis from your medical team that your back injury is permanent in nature, you may be eligible for permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits at the conclusion of the healing period, that is, when the worker goes back to work, can return to similar employment, or further healing is not anticipated. PPD benefits pay 80 percent of the worker’s spendable earnings up to $1,447 as of 2014.

Iowa code Section 85.34 mandates that these benefits are distributed based on the seriousness of the permanent disability and, if appropriate, how it affects your ability to earn a living for the remainder of your lifetime. A permanently disabled back injury is an unscheduled disability, so more than just a doctor’s impairment rating – based on the AMA Guidelines to Permanent Impairment – is important to determine duration of benefits.

The overall calculation process is complex and involves multiple factors designed to anticipate your loss of financial achievement over the duration of your entire remaining life.

  • age.
  • level of education.
  • changes in wages because of the injury.
  • and, more.

In some cases, the claimant receives a settlement early in the process, and it’s important that you are wary of any initial offers. You could be entitled to much more than the insurer initially offered, and your attorney should review any such settlement agreements.

What if I am totally and permanently disabled?

If your permanently disabled back injury completely prevents you from working, workman’s comp may provide permanent total disability (PTD). This provides 80 percent of weekly spendable earnings up to $1,572 as of 2014. These benefits are available for as long as the injury is permanent and totally disabling.

Call Walker, Billingsley & Bair for help

Of course, lifetime medical benefits are also recoverable to pay for medical treatment and care for as long as needed whether you receive PPD or PTD. This can help ensure you receive proper treatment for the injury.

If you’re suffering from a permanently disabling back injury, workman’s comp can help you recover medical and disability benefits. Walker, Billingsley & Bair in Des Moines can help you pursue fair benefits. We will help you file a claim, deal with any disputes, appeal a denied claim, and help with other aspects of the process as well. Call us today at (888) 435-9886 or use our online contact form to set up an appointment with an attorney.

Corey Walker
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With over 28 years legal experience, Corey has been recognized for his work as an injury attorney.