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My Iowa Workers’ Compensation Claim Has Been Denied, Now What?


You are an employee in Iowa who was injured on the job, you filed a workers’ compensation claim, and unfortunately your claim has been denied. Now what? Are you out of luck? Not at all; don’t be fooled into thinking that a workers’ compensation claim denial is the end of the road. In Iowa, workers’ compensation claims are frequently denied and then successfully appealed. Read on to learn why workers’ compensation claims are commonly denied and how injured employees in Iowa can appeal these denials to the Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commissioner.

Common Reasons Why Workers’ Compensation Claims are Denied

A workers’ compensation claim filed in Iowa can be denied for a variety of reasons, but some of the most commonly cited reasons for denying a claim include:

  • The injury was not timely reported to the employer,
  • The injured employee failed to provide sufficient evidence to fully document their claim,
  • The employer successfully argued that the injury did not occur at work, and/or
  • The employee is ineligible to collect workers’ compensation because they were breaking the law, or a company policy, at the time of the accident.

How to Appeal a Workers’ Compensation Claim Denial in Iowa

When an injured Iowa employee and their employer (and its insurance carrier) are not able to successfully resolve a workers’ compensation claim amongst themselves, the parties may submit their dispute to the Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commissioner. The Commissioner is in charge of administering, regulating, and enforcing Iowa’s workers’ compensation laws and has the power to review denied workers’ compensation claims.

In order to appeal a denied workers’ compensation claim to the Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commissioner the injured employee must first file a “contested case petition”. This petition must be filed within two years if the insurance provider has yet to pay any benefits under the claim, and within three years of the last payment if the insurance company has issued some benefits to the injured employee. After a contested case petition is successfully filed a deputy workers’ compensation commissioner will be assigned to the case and a hearing date will be set. At the hearing both the injured employee and the insurance company will present their respective cases to the deputy commissioner who will then take the matter under advisement and later issue a decision. If a party is not satisfied with the deputy commissioner’s decision they can appeal further to the Commissioner via written legal submissions, and then further to the state court system if necessary. The appeals process can be lengthy but it is available to injured employees in Iowa who believe that their workers’ compensation claim has been wrongly denied.

Let Us Help You Today

Whether you’re contemplating pursuing a workers’ compensation claim, or your claim has already been denied, the experienced workers’ compensation lawyers of the Noyes Law Office P.C. are here to help. Our lawyers are committed to helping injured employees in Southeast Iowa recover the workers’ compensation benefits they are rightfully entitled to and would be happy to assist you. Schedule a free no obligation initial consultation at our Fairfield office today by calling (641) 472-3236.

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