Iowa requires all businesses to have workers comp for employees, with only a few exceptions.

Workers comp insurance typically pays medical bills and some lost income for a worker who's hurt while performing a job-related task. Work injuries that can be covered might range from burns to carpal tunnel to foot joint pain.

Iowa workers compensation law define many details of who must be covered, who can be exempt from coverage, and the limits of workers comp payments. Below are many of the specifics contained in the workers comp law in Iowa. The Iowa Division of Workers' Compensation also has a page with helpful information for employers.

Who's covered under Iowa workers comp laws?


Can any employees opt out of Iowa workers compensation with a waiver?

Yes - corporate officers can. Sole proprietors can choose to be covered.


Is self-insurance for workers comp allowed in Iowa?

Yes, for individual employers and groups of employers.

By self-insuring, a business assumes responsibility for paying their own workers comp claims. A self-insured company typically hires a claims-service company to handle claims administration and other services.


Are there exclusions for:

Small employers? No.

Agricultural employers? Yes, if the employer's total cash payroll is less than $2,500 during the preceding calendar year.

Domestic employers? Yes, if a worker earns less than a certain amount of money.

Independent contractors? Yes.

Casual employees? Yes.

Volunteers? No.

Professional athletes? No.

Iowa workers comp medical benefits


Is there a Iowa workers comp fee schedule?

No.

Fee schedules define payments for surgery, radiology, hospital services, chiropractic care, ambulance service, prescription drugs and other medical services for an injured worker.


Are there limits on medical treatment?

No.


Who makes the initial choice of treating physician?

The employer.

Disability payments for workers compensation insurance in Iowa

Workers comp generally pays a portion of the employee's income when they can't work due to a job-related injury. Based upon both temporary and permanent disability, state laws define the limits on the amounts and lengths of disability payments.

How are temporary total disability (TTD) payments calculated?

80% of the worker's spendable, after-tax or net weekly wages.

Weekly minimum: None

Weekly maximum: $1,628

Maximum length of TDD benefits: Benefits are for the length of the disability and may be paid for life.

How are permanent total disability (PTD) payments calculated?

80% of the worker's spendable, after-tax or net weekly wages, subject to a minimum and maximum.

Weekly minimum: Based on the average weekly wage of $285.00 and the employee's marital status and number of entitled exemptions.

Weekly maximum: $1,628

Are there cost of living increases for PTD payments? No.

Maximum length of PTD benefits: No maximum.

How are permanent partial disability (PPD) payments calculated?

80% of the worker's spendable, after-tax or net weekly wages, subject to a minimum and maximum.

Weekly minimum: Based on the average weekly wage of $285.00 and the employee's marital status and number of entitled exemptions.

Weekly maximum: $1,498

Fatality benefits under Iowa workers compensation law

Maximum burial benefit: $9,767.88

Dependency benefits, weekly minimum: Based on the average weekly wage of $285.00 and the employee's marital status and number of entitled exemptions.

Dependence benefits, weekly maximum: $1,628

When do children's dependency benefits end? At age 18; age 25 if the child is a student; benefits can continue if child is disabled.

Other injuries covered under Iowa workers compensation

Mental stress with no physical injury? Yes.

Cumulative trauma (such as injuries caused by repeated exposure or repetitive motion)? Yes.

Occupational hearing loss? Yes.

Disfigurement? Yes.

Source: Workers Compensation Research Institute, May 2016 report