Iowa Workers' Compensation Part 2

Employees are covered by the workers' compensation act. Independent contractors are not covered. The title of "employee" or "independent contractor" is a question of fact to be determined. A list of factors are reviewed, including but not limited to a.) how long the worker is employed, b.) payment method and c.) if the work is part of the employer’s regular business. The parties’ intent and/or any one factor does not control.

A person who has a work-related injury is generally entitled to three major benefits: 1.) medical benefits; 2.) temporary disability or healing period benefits (to compensate for time off work while recovering from the injury); and, 3.) permanent disability benefits (if the work injury results in a permanent functional impairment).

Iowa Code § 85.27 identifies that the employer is responsible to pay the medical bills stemming from a work injury. In theory, medical care remains open indefinitely. If the employer continues to pay medical bills, the employer gets to pick the doctor. Generally, if the injured worker receives medical care from an "unauthorized" doctor, the employer will not be responsible for payment of the corresponding medical bill.

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