Can an Independent Contractor Receive Iowa Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

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Posted by Dillon Besser

If you are an Iowa employee that is injured while working, you likely qualify for Iowa workers’ compensation benefits if:

  1. You are employed and/or hired in Iowa
  2. Injured while working in Iowa; or
  3. Regularly work in Iowa.

That means the employers of workers that qualify for Iowa’s workers’ compensation system are subject to the laws of this system.

In general, the employer is required to maintain a workers’ compensation insurance policy and pay regular insurance premiums. The insurance company is then responsible for paying the benefits to any injured employee. In some instances, an employer will be self-insured for workers’ compensation and will then be responsible to pay for workers’ compensation benefits directly.

Independent Contractors Have Different Rules for Work Comp Benefits

A problem that some injured Iowans run into is when they are actually classified as an independent contractor. Employers are only required to carry workers’ compensation insurance to cover individuals that are classified as employees. Whether an individual is classified as an employee or an independent contractor can sometimes be disputed based on a set of factors.

This criteria includes, among other factors:

  • The way a worker is paid
  • Existence of a contract for work or some type of an agreement; and
  • The employer’s ability to control the work.

Unfortunately, if an injured worker is an independent contractor, there is no obligation for an employer to provide workers’ compensation coverage. In these situations, an independent contractor’s ability to recover benefits is much more limited.

Are You an Employee in Iowa or an Independent Contractor?

It is important to figure out whether you’re an employee or an independent contractor early in the work comp claim process. If an employer should be responsible for paying workers’ compensation benefits, they need to be held liable. To do this, investigation and determinations need to be made right after the work injury occurs.

If an employer, or the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier, is not paying benefits after a work injury, you should consult an Iowa workers’ compensation attorney right away. To schedule a free, no-obligation case evaluation, call RSH Legal today at 1-319-774-1903.

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