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Types of Worker’s Compensation Disability Benefits

Posted by John R. Flynn | Apr 30, 2019 | 0 Comments

Types of Worker's Compensation Disability Benefits

     Iowa Worker's Compensation law requires most employers to provide benefits to employees who are injured on the job. These benefits often take the form of wage loss repayment and medical benefits. An employee may be eligible for benefits if they sustain an injury on the job. The law defines an injury as a health condition caused by work activities and diseases and hearing loss caused by work activities. A pre-existing condition is not considered an injury unless work conditions aggravate or worsen the condition. Note that an employer must be notified of an injury within 90 days of the injury or the employee may be denied benefits.

     The types of benefits an employee may be entitled to are Temporary Total Disability (TTD), Temporary Partial Disability (TPD), Healing Period (HP), Permanent Partial Disability (PPD), and Permanent Total Disability (PTD), Scheduled Member Disability, and Body as a Whole Disability. The type of disability the injury is categorized as will determine the amount of benefits that can be collected.

Temporary Total Disability

     If an employee is away from work because of a workplace injury for more than three days, that employee may be entitled to benefits beginning on the fourth day. The benefits would continue until the employee returns to work or is able to return to similar work. While several factors are considered, generally, an employee's benefit amount will be 80% of their net earnings.

Temporary Partial Disability

     If an employee is unable to return to their former job but can return to the workforce at a lesser paying job, that employee is eligible for benefits. The same three-day waiting period applies, and the same 80% rate applies to Temporary Partial Disability.  

Healing Period

     An employee may be entitled to benefits while they recover from an injury sustained on the job. These benefits begin the day after injury and continue until the employee returns to work, returns to similar work, or recovers as much as they are expected to recover from the injury. Again, the 80% rate will apply with a maximum allowed benefit of $1,765 per week.

Permanent Partial Disability

     Permanent Partial Disability benefits are given in addition to Healing Period benefits and are available to employees who sustain some sort of permanent impairment due to a workplace injury. The maximum weekly benefit allowed with they type of disability is $1,623 per week.

Permanent Total Disability

     Permanent Total Disability benefits are available to employees whose injury renders them unable to return to any type of work. Benefits will be available to the employee for the entire time they are unable to work.

Scheduled Member Disability

If an injury results in the loss of scheduled member (i.e. thumb, foot, arm, etc.), the amount of benefit received is based on the scheduled member chart and the percentage of loss. See the chart below. For example, if there was 50% loss of use of an arm, the employee would be entitled to 125 weeks of PPD benefits.



Loss of thumb


Loss of first finger


Loss of second finger


Loss of third finger


Loss of fourth finger


Loss of hand


Loss of arm


Loss of great toe


Loss of any other toe


Loss of foot


Loss of leg


Loss of eye


Loss of hearing in one ear


Loss of hearing in both ears


Permanent disfigurement, face or head


Body as a whole




Body as a Whole Disability

     When an injury is sustained to the body as a whole, an assessment is done to look at what the employee was earning both before and after the injury. Each whole-body injury is assessed on a case by case basis.

About the Author

John R. Flynn

John has a broad litigation practice, focused on representing injured Iowans and family members of injured Iowans, who have been injured or harmed due to the fault of others. He has litigated cases against large corporations, as well as numerous insurance companies. John has also litigated severa...


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