What are the time limitations to file an Iowa Workers' Compensation claim?

In general, the statute of limitations to file your Iowa Workers' Compensation claim is 2 years from the date of your injury. This means you must either have started receiving benefits or have filed an application for arbitration within this time frame. While this may sound simple enough, there are actually a number of deadlines that you must meet when filing an Iowa Workers' Compensation claim.

Before you can even file an Iowa Workers' Compensation claim, you must file a report with your employer. This statute of limitations is 90 days, which begins when you either sustained the injury or realized you had sustained the injury.

At this point, when your injury causes you to miss work for more than 3 days or is considered permanent, your employer has 4 days to file a report of injury with the Workers' Compensation Commissioner. Since these statutes of limitations can easily get confusing, you may find it best to get the help of a Des Moines Workers' Compensation attorney.

This way, while you focus on healing, your Des Moines Workers' Compensation attorney can keep your claim on track, to prevent you from missing the deadlines prescribed by Iowa's statute of limitations.

If you have been injured at work there are certain things you need to do.  If you plan to file a workers’ compensation claim against your employer for your injuries, it needs to be done in a timely manner as there are time limitations on certain aspects of a workers’ compensation claim. For instance, if you are hurt on the job you should inform your employer as soon as possible so it is documented.  By law your employer must be notified of your injury or have knowledge of your injury within 90 days of it happening.  It is always best for you and your employer if you tell them right away instead of waiting.

What Happens After I Report My Injury?

After your employer is notified of your injury they must fill out a first report of injury and then file it with the Workers’ Compensation Commissioner. This report must be filed within four days of the employer having knowledge or notice of the employee’s injury. If your employer fails to do so, you will still have a workers’ compensation claim, but it might make it more difficult down the road when you need to know specifics about the date of injury. It’s recommended that you file the report, because it helps to give your claim a solid base. It will provide the exact date of injury, time the injury happened, where it happened, and how it happened. In addition, your employer will have signed it which proves the date that you informed your employer of your alleged injury. 

What Are the Time Limitations After I Report My Injury?

If you are injured at work and have a workers’ compensation claim you generally have two years from the date that you were injured to file a petition against your employer, otherwise, you may be denied benefits and then your claim will be worthless. You may be given additional time to file a petition if you have received weekly workers’ compensation benefits. If you have received benefits, your time to file a petition may be extended up to three years from the date of the last weekly benefits check issued to you.  However, we always recommend that you at least have an attorney review your case well within the two-year time frame, because the risk of losing your case on a time limit is too great to even take a chance.


Having a Des Moines Workers' Compensation attorney familiar with your case can also prove helpful in the future, even if benefits have already been paid. This is because you have 3 years once your benefits have been paid to file for additional benefits (this does not apply to necessary medical expenses).

If you miss the statute of limitations to file your Iowa Workers' Compensation claim, your claim could be denied. Since you don't want to risk such important compensation, a Des Moines Workers' Compensation attorney can take every step to get you the financial help you need and deserve.

Contacting a Des Moines Workers' Compensation Attorney

The Des Moines Workers' Compensation attorney team at Walker, Billingsley & Bair know the importance of protecting your work injury claim from the get-go. That's why we provide this FREE book; Iowa Workers' Compensation - An Insider's Guide to Work Injuries: 7 Deadly Mistakes To Avoid If You Are Hurt At Work. To learn more about what our legal team will do to help you protect your Iowa work injury claim, contact Walker, Billingsley & Bair to schedule a no-cost consultation - 1-888-435-9886.

Corey Walker
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With over 20 years legal experience, Corey has been recognized for his work as an injury attorney.