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Workers Compensation Laws in Iowa

Workers Compensation laws in Iowa underwent some major changes in 2017. The law amendments made it more challenging for workers injured on the job to collect benefits and lowered the amount of those benefits. The old laws pertain to injuries that occurred before July 1, 2017, and the amended laws apply to injuries that occurred after July 1, 2017. Below are two of the main amendments made to workers compensation laws in Iowa, according to http://www.mediproseminars.com/iowa-workers-comp-appeals-process/.

Disability and Loss of Earning

Under Iowa’s older workers compensation laws, injuries like back, neck, head, hip, and psychological injuries were valued in relation to the loss of wages through missed work. This earning capacity was affected by the following characteristics of the worker: age, education, job experience, motivation, loss of earnings, functional impairment, work restrictions, inability to work, whether or not the employer provides work for the worker.

First Major Amendment

The 2017 amendments to workers compensation laws in Iowa changed two of the aforementioned considerations (workers comp lawyer). The first change involved the worker’s age. With old laws, older workers would receive higher awards than younger workers who were injured in the same way. The thought behind this was that most employers would prefer younger employees, so the older workers were already at a disadvantage in the job market. This law was amended so that the employee’s loss of earning capacity would take into account the years the employee was likely to have continued working at the time they sustained their injury.

Second Major Amendment

The next element that was changed by the 2017 amendments involved whether the injured employee’s earnings increased or decreased. Before the changes, an injured worker was still permitted to receive industrial disability despite if their earnings increased. This rule was changed to ensure that if an employee returned to work or was offered employment that would earn them the same or an increase in earnings, the worker was only allowed to be compensated for the worker’s functional impairment ranking from the injury. The result of this amendment is a reduction in the benefit amounts that employees with unscheduled injuries are entitled to.

While the 2017 amendments to workers compensation laws in Iowa have undergone many additional changes, the two mentioned are the main ones. The crux of these changes made it more difficult for injured workers to receive compensation; hence, it is more important than ever for Iowans who are injured on the job to seek the aid of legal counsel. Hiring a skilled personal injury lawyer can help employees get the compensation they are entitled to for being injured on the job and missed wages due to time away from work.

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