Question :
What types of disability benefits are available?
Answer :
Temporary Total Disability (TTD) [85.32, 85.33(1)]

When an injury results in more than three calendar days of disability, the employee may be entitled to TTD benefits beginning on the fourth day and continuing until the employee has returned to work or is medically capable of returning to substantially similar employment, whichever occurs first. The three-day waiting period becomes payable if the disability period exceeds fourteen calendar days.

Temporary Partial Disability (TPD) [85.32(2-5)]

TPD benefits may be payable if the employee returns to work at a lesser paying job, because of the injury. The TPD benefit amount is to be 66 2/3% of the difference between the employee’s average gross weekly earnings at the time of the injury and the employee’s actual earnings while temporarily working at the lesser paying job. The three-day waiting period (explained above) also applies to TPD.

Healing Period (HP) [85.34(1)]

During the period of recuperation from an injury which produces a permanent impairment, the employee may be entitled to HP benefits beginning on the first day of disability following the date of injury and continuing until the occurrence of one of the following events:

the employee returns to work; it is medically indicated that significant improvement from the injury is not anticipated; or the employee is medically capable of returning to employment substantially similar to the employment in which the employee was engaged at the time of the injury.

No waiting period applies to HP benefits.

Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) [85.34(2)]

When a job-related injury results in a permanent disability, the employee may be entitled to PPD benefits based upon the degree of permanent disability. The PPD benefits are payable in addition to the HP benefits and are to begin at the termination of the healing period. There are two types of PPD benefits:

Scheduled Member Disabilities – An employee’s entitlement to PPD benefits when a scheduled member is involved is based on functional impairment. Appendix A sets out a list of the scheduled body members (i.e., arm, leg, etc.) along with the value (in number of weeks) for each member.

Body As A Whole Disabilities – When an injury results in a permanent disability to the body as a whole, it is referred to as industrial disability. Factors to be considered in determining industrial disability are: employee’s medical condition prior to injury, immediately after the injury and presently; the stitus of the injury; its severity and the length of healing period; the work experience of the employee prior to the injury, after the injury and potential for rehabilitation; the employees qualifications intellectually, emotionally, and physically; earnings prior and subsequent to the injury; age; education; motivation; functional impairment as a result of the injury; loss of earnings caused by a job transfer for reasons related to the injury; and inability because of the injury to engage in employment for which the employee is fitted.

However, there are no specific guidelines that indicate how each of the factors is to be considered. (See Appendix A)

Permanent Total Disability (PTD) [85.34(3)]

When a job-related injury leaves an employee incapable of returning to gainful employment, the employee may be entitled to PTD benefits. The PTD benefits are payable as long as the employee remains permanently totally disabled.

Second Injury Fund Benefits (85.63-85.69)

If an employee has a permanent partial disability to one major body member (hand, arm, foot, leg, or eye) and sustains a permanent partial disability as a result of a job related injury to a second major body member, the employee may be entitled to benefits from the "Second Injury Fund." The benefits are limited to the value of that permanent disability which exceeds the value of the two affected members separately. The benefits are not payable until after the employer, or insurance carrier, has completed payment of benefits for the second permanent partial disability.

An employee who believes that they are entitled to benefits from this fund should contact the state of Iowa’s treasurer’s office to obtain a claim form. (515) 281-3885.

Vocational Rehabilitation Benefits (85.70)

The Iowa Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services (DVRS) assists eligible individuals with disabilities to prepare for, obtain and maintain employment. An employee may be entitled to a payment of $100.00 per week (up to 13 weeks) if the employee is actively participating in a vocational rehabilitation program. An additional 13 weeks may be paid if approved by the industrial commissioner.

Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services
510 E. 12th St.
Des Moines, IA 50319
In Des Moines area call 281-4211

Death Benefits (85.28, 85.31, 85.42, 85.43, 85.44)

When death ensues from the injury, the employer shall pay the reasonable expenses of burial of such employee not to exceed twelve times the statewide average weekly wage paid employees as determined by the department of workforce development under section 96.19, subsection 36, and in effect at the time of death, which shall be in addition to other compensation or any other benefit provided for in this chapter. (3/19/08)

Division of Workers' Compensation site

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