If you have been injured at work in Iowa, you may have heard the phrase “Second Injury Fund Claim” as a type of workers’ compensation benefit. Since Iowa workers’ compensation law changed in July of 2017, this type of Iowa workers’ compensation benefit for injured workers has become even more important to getting you fair compensation.
‘Body as a Whole’ Injuries vs. ‘Scheduled Member’ Injuries in Workers’ Compensation Claims
In Iowa’s workers’ compensation system, there are two main types of workplace injuries. The first is a “body as a whole” injury – this is an injury to the core of the body like the head, neck, or back. The second is a “scheduled member” injury. This is an injury to a limb or an eye.
These injuries are compensated very differently, according to Iowa workers’ compensation law. To simplify it, the amount of permanent disability benefits available to injured workers with “scheduled member” injuries is much more limited that those with “body as a whole” injuries. Unfortunately, this can result in a relatively small amount of compensation for a serious limb injury.
However, this may not be the case if an injured worker had a previous injury to a different limb or eye than the one currently injured. In that situation, the injured worker may have what is called a Second Injury Fund claim.
How to Qualify for Iowa’s Second Injury Fund Benefits
The Second Injury Fund provides compensation to injured workers who had an injury in the past and then a workplace injury. There are a few rules that need to be true for the Second Injury Fund to apply:
- The second injury has to be a work injury and has to have caused some degree of permanent impairment.
- The first injury has to have been to a limb or eye.
- The first injury could have been the result of a work injury or another source, and it could have happened recently or several years in the past.
An injured worker with a Second Injury Fund claim is entitled to some portion of 500 weeks of permanent disability benefits if they can return to work. If they are unable to return to work, they may receive lifetime permanent disability benefits.
If you have suffered a work injury to an arm, hand, leg, foot or eye, and you have a prior injury to any of those body parts, you may qualify for Second Injury Fund Benefits.
Due to the significant caps on permanent disability benefits for injured workers who sustain “scheduled member” injuries, you should talk to an experienced Iowa workers’ compensation attorney about the Second Injury Fund. You may be able to receive Second Injury Fund benefits and receive adequate compensation for injuries.
Not sure if you qualify? Call our office today at 1-319-774-1542 and speak with a workers’ compensation lawyer.