When Can I Reopen My Iowa Workers’ Compensation Claim?

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Posted by Emily Anderson

Are you worse off either physically or financially after you’ve resolved your Iowa workers’ compensation claim?  You might be wondering if you can reopen your claim and ask for additional permanent disability benefits. It could be possible, but you should consider these three questions first:

Has Your Physical or Financial Condition Worsened Because of Your Iowa Work Injury?

This is a question that has to be answered by a doctor.  If your physical condition has worsened, but it’s a result of a new injury, or something other than the original work injury, then you cannot reopen your Iowa work comp case based on your physical condition getting worse.

Your physical condition may not have worsened, but has your financial situation worsened because of your work injury?  In other words, were you terminated or did your pay decrease because the employer could no longer accommodate the restrictions created from your work injury?  If you’ve had a change in condition related to your work injury, and the judge finds that change has increased your permanent impairment, then you are entitled to additional permanent disability benefits.

Was Your Iowa Work Comp Claim Resolved Correctly?

Was your Iowa workers’ compensation claim resolved in a way that has left your right to future permanent disability benefits open?  If a judge ruled on your claim and found that you have a permanent disability, you may reopen your claim.  If you entered into a type of workers’ compensation settlement that protected your right to reopen your claim, then you may be able to reopen your claim.  These types of settlements are often called, “open file” settlements or, more technically, an “Agreement for Settlement.”

If you entered into a closed file settlement, more technically known as a, “Compromised Settlement,” then you probably cannot reopen your claim.

If you aren’t sure how your claim was settled, talk to an experienced Iowa workers’ compensation attorney.  They can review your settlement paperwork for you.

Have You Received Weekly Iowa Work Comp Benefits Within the Last 3 Years?

A review reopening claim must be filed with the Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commissioner within three years of the last weekly benefit check.  Being paid mileage and medical benefits does not extend this deadline.  If you are past the three-year deadline, you probably cannot reopen your claim.

If you have questions about whether you can reopen your Iowa workers’ compensation claim, you should talk to an attorney.  Call us today at 1-319-774-1783 and receive a free, no-strings-attached phone consultation with one of our experienced Iowa workers’ compensation lawyers.

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