In Iowa, once you report your work injury and ask for medical care it is likely that your claim will be investigated. Depending upon the nature and severity of your injury it may be obvious that you were hurt at work and the insurance company will immediately start providing you with medical care and a weekly check if you are taken off work. However, in many cases the workers' compensation insurance company will want to look at your prior medical records, talk to your doctors, etc. before making a decision.
Will I be paid for the first few days I miss from work?
In Iowa, we have a three day waiting period for TTD (temporary total disability) benefits which means that, unless you miss more than 2 weeks of work, you will not be paid by workers' compensation for the first three days that you miss work due to a work related injury. However, you may have sick pay, vacation pay, personal days, etc. that will pay you for this time off. If you do miss more than two weeks, then the work comp insurance company is supposed to pay your for the first 3 days.
How is the amount I am paid calculated?
The amount of your weekly checks is called your workers' compensation rate. This amount can be broken down to a daily rate by dividing the weekly rate by 7. The rate is based upon your gross wages before you were hurt, your marital status and the number of exemptions that you claim on your tax return. Generally, the weekly rate amount is usually a little less than your normal take-home pay after taxes. However, you will not pay taxes on your weekly work comp checks. Technically, it is supposed to be 80% of your spendable earnings and each year a new chart comes out to determine what that amount is based upon your average weekly gross wages. Depending upon how you are paid (for example hourly, based upon a salary, overtime, etc.) will determine which formula is used to determine your rate. If you work on an hourly basis, then generally your rate will be based upon the average of your wages in a period of 13 weeks before you were injured. All of your hours are to be included at your normal hourly rate. Also, if you receive regular bonuses, that amount is also considered and added to your wages on a weekly basis. For example, if you averaged 50 hours per week at $20 per hour and also received an annual bonus of $2,600, then your average weekly wage would be $1,000 (50 X $20) + $50 (2,600/52) = $1,050. Depending upon your marital status and number of exemptions your rate could vary from $614.73 (single with no children) to $707.34 (married with a total of 7 exemptions).
If you have questions about whether or not you should be being paid a weekly check or if your weekly rate is accurate, please feel free to give us a call. For Immediate Assistance or to schedule your NO COST Work Injury Case Evaluation, CALL NOW (641) 792-3595 and ask to speak to Corey or Erik.