Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Iowa

There are several different types of benefits that may be available to a worker injured on the job.

Temporary Total Disability (TTD) Benefits

When an injured worker is off work for more than three calendar days due to a work injury, the worker may be entitled to TTD benefits beginning on the fourth day the worker is off due to the work injury. If said worker misses 14 or more days from work due to the injury, the worker may be entitled to TTD benefits for the first three days of work missed. To determine the amount of TTD benefits you may be eligible for, Iowa uses a table to calculate benefits that considers your weekly wages, marital status, and the number income tax exemptions you are eligible for.

TTD benefits continue until either the injured worker returns to work, or the injured worker has recovered enough to return to similar work. However, without written authorization from your doctor confirming that you are unable to return to work, you may not be eligible for TTD benefits.

Temporary Partial Disability (TPD) Benefits

If you are able to return to work but are forced to work a lesser paying job because of your injury, you may be eligible for TPD benefits. The TPD benefit amount is to be 66.6% 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.

Like TTD benefits, there is a three-day waiting period before TPD benefits start. TPD benefits begin on the fourth day after you return to work at a lesser paying job because of the work injury.

Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) Benefits

If your work injury results in a permanent impairment to your body, a permanent physical restriction, or a loss of earning capacity, you may be entitled to PPD benefits. In Iowa, PPD benefits are payable in addition to any healing period benefits you may have received. These benefits begin when your doctor medically indicates that you have reached what is known as maximum medical improvement and the percentage of your permanent impairment can be determined via the American Medical Association guides to the evaluation of impairment. Essentially, this means that once your medical treatment has run its course and you are still left with a permanent impairment, PPD benefits are available to you.

The amount of PPD benefits you may be eligible for depends on the part of your body that has become permanently impaired as a result of your work injury and the percentage of the permanent impairment. PPD benefits are paid at the same rate as TTD or healing period benefits for a maximum duration of 500 weeks.

If you have a “scheduled member” disability (a disability to a specific part of the body), the maximum duration of benefits set forth by the Iowa legislature is as follows:

  • Loss of Thumb:  60 weeks
  • Loss of 1st Finger:  35 weeks
  • Loss of 2nd Finger:  30 weeks
  • Loss of 3rd Finger:  25 weeks
  • Loss of 4th Finger:  20 weeks
  • Loss of Hand:  190 weeks
  • Loss of Arm:  250 weeks
  • Loss of Great Toe:  40 weeks
  • Loss of Any Other Toe:  15 weeks
  • Loss of Foot:  150 weeks
  • Loss of Leg:  220 weeks
  • Loss of Eye:  140 weeks
  • Loss of Hearing in One Ear:  50 weeks
  • Loss of Hearing in Both Ears:  175 weeks
  • Loss of Shoulder:  400 weeks
  • Permanent Disfigurement of Face or Head:  150 weeks

If you have a permanent disability to your body as a whole, it is referred to as an “industrial disability.” Once the degree of industrial disability is determined, the percentage of your whole body impairment is multiplied by the maximum duration of PPD benefits available (500 weeks). 

Permanent Total Disability (PTD) Benefits

If your work injury leaves you totally disabled and completely incapable of returning to any gainful employment, you may be entitled to PTD benefits that are payable for as long as you remain totally disabled.

About Christopher

Christopher J. Shald has successfully litigated a wide variety of cases, but his passion is protecting the rights of injured workers and victims of negligence. His focus is on Workers’ Compensation, Personal Injury, and Criminal Defense.

Learn more about CJ

Best of Omaha - Omaha Magazine - Workers Compensation - 2023 Winner Award
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