This page contains frequently asked questions (FAQ) about the Iowa Division of Workers' Compensation (DWC).
The FAQ pages are intended to provide general information about the Iowa workers' compensation system. For resources to help you get legal advice, click here.
- What department is the DWC in?
- Who is the head of DWC?
- What is DWC?
- Does the DWC pay work comp benefits?
- How does DWC resolve disputes about workers' compensation benefits?
- How does DWC hold hearings for cases?
- Can DWC provide legal advice or representation?
- How does DWC enforce Iowa workers' compensation law?
- How do you file a First Report of Injury (FROI) with DWC?
- How do you file documents in a case before DWC?
- Does DWC approve settlements of work comp claims?
- Does DWC pay unemployment insurance benefits?
The DWC is part of the Iowa Department of Inspections, Appeals and Licensing (DIAL).
For more information about DIAL, click here.
The Iowa Workers' Compensation Commissioner is the head of DWC.
For more information about the Commissioner, click here.
DWC is a division within a State of Iowa government agency. It performs the following services:
- Administers the Iowa workers' compensation system
- Serves as the neutral tribunal in Iowa workers' compensation cases
No, DWC does not pay work comp benefits.
For more information about benefits, click here.
Generally, an injured worker will start a contested case by filing a petition with DWC. A neutral deputy workers' compensation commissioner will preside over the case. DWC will hold a hearing at which all parties will have the opportunity to present evidence. After the hearing, the deputy will issue a decision. All parties have the right to appeal the deputy's decision to the Iowa Workers' Compensation Commissioner.
Arbitration hearings are the most common type of hearing. Typically, DWC holds arbitration hearings using live internet-based video.
DWC also holds arbitration hearings in person. DWC holds in-person arbitration hearings periodically in each of Iowa's judicial districts and at the DWC office in Des Moines, Iowa.
Alternate Care Hearings
DWC holds alternate care hearings by telephone unless a party requests an in-person hearing. All in-person alternate care hearings are held at the DWC office in Des Moines, Iowa.
As a divison of a state agency charged with administering the workers' compensation system and serving as the neutral tribunal for work comp disputes, DWC cannot:
- Give legal advice to parties
- Represent a party
- Refer a party to an attorney
DWC will work to ensure that all parties get a fair hearing regardless of whether the party is represented by an attorney. You should seriously consider getting legal advice or representation if you are a party to a work comp case.
For resources to help you get legal advice or find an attorney, click here.
DWC compliance administrators are the agency's representatives on compliance issues.
For more information about DWC's compliance administrators, click here.
You may file a FROI with DWC using the Electronic Data Interchange (EDI).
For more information about EDI, click here.
A party or the party's attorney must use the Workers' Compensation Electronic System (WCES) to electronically file (eFile) documents in cases before the agency.
For more information about eFiling on WCES, click here.
Yes, DWC must review and approve the parties' settlement of a work comp claim to ensure it complies with Iowa law.
For more information about work comp settlements in Iowa, click here.
No, DWC does not pay unemployment insurance benefits. DWC has no role in the Iowa unemployment insurance system.
Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) administers the Iowa unemployment insurance system, including payment of unemployment insurance benefits.
For more information about the Iowa unemployment insurance system, including the payment of unemployment insurance benefits, click here.
For more information about workers' compensation in Iowa, click here.