Know How to Protect Yourself in the Iowa Workers Compensation System?
If You Are Unhappy With the Doctor Picked by Your Employer, You Might Be Entitled to Different Medical Care
Iowa workers’ compensation law requires that an employer (or its insurance corporation) pay for any medical care made necessary by a work-related injury. In turn, Iowa law allows an employer–rather than the injured worker–to decide who will provide that medical care. This is not, however, an unlimited right under Iowa law.
An injured Iowa worker has a legal remedy if an employer offers treatment from an unqualified doctor or a doctor who provides inadequate care. If injured workers find themselves in situations where they are receiving inadequate medical care, their first step should be to communicate their dissatisfaction with the medical care to their employer (or its workers’ compensation insurance corporation) in writing. If that does not result in a change in medical care, the injured worker’s next option is to file a petition with the Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commissioner. Typically, written evidence of inadequate care from your employer-chosen doctor–such as a conflicting opinion from a different doctor–is necessary to get the Commissioner to rule that you are entitled to different medical care. It is usually necessary to consult with an experienced Iowa workers’ compensation attorney in order to successfully exercise your right to alternate medical care.
To find out other important rights that every injured worker has under Iowa workers’ compensation law, use the form to the right to download the entire Legal Insider Guide to Iowa Workers’ Compensation Claims.
Settlement & Government Benefits: An Important Warning
Accepting your Iowa workers’ compensation benefits in the wrong way can cost you money in the long run. The money that you receive for a work injury can reduce the amount of money that the government will pay you in Social Security Disability benefits or Medicare benefits. It does not seem fair, but this sort of thing can happen when an injured worker accepts a workers’ compensation settlement without taking the necessary precautions.
Let us give you a couple of examples of what we are talking about:
1. The Social Security Administration will only allow a disabled worker to receive so much money in benefits during a particular month. If a work injury disables a worker so that he qualifies for Social Security Disability benefits and that worker does not insist on special language in the workers’ compensation settlement paperwork, the Social Security Administration will reduce the injured worker’s monthly Social Security Disability check by the amount of the workers’ compensation settlement. The ultimate result is that the injured worker gets less total money than he otherwise would.
2. Medicare will not pay for medical treatment if it believes that an injured worker has already received money for that medical treatment. In other words, if an injured worker receives money in a workers’ compensation settlement for future medical treatment, Medicare will not pay for that future medical treatment–even if the injured worker otherwise qualifies for Medicare. The ultimate result is–if the injured worker has not insisted on special language in the workers’ compensation settlement paperwork–he can end up paying for medical treatment out of his own pocket that otherwise would have been covered by Medicare.
Do not let Social Security Disability or Medicare take a bite out of your workers’ compensation settlement. Before accepting a settlement after a work injury, the safest thing to do is have your case evaluated by a qualified Iowa workers’ compensation attorney. An experienced Iowa work comp lawyer can advise you how to settle your case so that you avoid any costly Social Security or Medicare blunders. The proper workers’ compensation settlement paperwork can make all the difference in the world.
To find out other important things to consider before attempting to settle your Iowa workers’ compensation claim, use the form to the right to download the entire Legal Insider Guide to Iowa Workers’ Compensation Claims.
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