FAQ: Iowa Division of Workers' Compensation (DWC)

OVERVIEW

The Iowa Division of Workers' Compensation (DWC) is the State of Iowa administrative agency charged with administering .

This page contains frequently asked questions (FAQ) about workers' compensation time limitations in Iowa.

LEGAL ADVICE

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.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

FAQ

Who is the head of the Iowa Division of Workers' Compensation (DWC)?

The Iowa Workers' Compensation Commissioner is the head of DWC.

For more information about the Commissioner, click here.

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What is the Iowa Division of Workers' Compensation (DWC)?

DWC is 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

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Does the Iowa Division of Workers' Compensation (DWC) pay work comp benefits?

No, DWC does not pay work comp benefits.

For more information about benefits, click here.

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How does the Iowa Division of Workers' Compensation (DWC) resolve disputes about workers' compensation benefits?

Generally, an injured worker will start a contested case proceeding by filing a petition with DWC. A deputy workers' compensation commissioner will preside over the contested case. After a hearing at which all parties have the opportunity to present evidence, the deputy will issue a decision. All parties have the right to appeal the deputy's decision.

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How does the Iowa Division of Workers' Compensation (DWC) hold hearings for cases?

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.

Arbitration Hearings

Typically, DWC holds arbitration hearings in person. DWC holds in-person arbitration hearings periodically in each of Iowa's judicial districts and weekly at the DWC office in Des Moines, Iowa. 

DWC also offers parties the option to hold arbitration hearings electronically via live video-streaming or telephone. 

Due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, DWC has conducted hearings remotely, using live video-streaming. For more information on how COVID-19 has impacted DWC operations, click here.

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Can the Iowa Division of Workers' Compensation (DWC) provide legal advice or representation?

As a state agency charged with administering the workers' compensation system and serving as the neutral tribunal for workers' compensation 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 workers' compensation case.

For resources to help you get legal advice or find an attorney, click here.

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How does the Iowa Division of Workers' Compensation (DWC) ensure compliance with Iowa workers' compensation law?

DWC compliance administrators are the agency's representatives on compliance issues. 

For more information about DWC's compliance administrators, click here.

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How do you file a First Report of Injury (FROI) with the Iowa Division of Workers' Compensation (DWC)?

You may file a FROI with DWC using the (EDI).

For more information about EDI, click here.

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How do you file documents in a contested workers' compensation case before the agency?

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.

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Does the Iowa Division of Workers' Compensation (DWC) approve settlements of work comp claims?

Yes, DWC must review and approve the parties' settlement of a workers' compensation claim to ensure it complies with Iowa law.

For more information about workers' compensation settlements in Iowa, click here.

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Does the Iowa Division of Workers' Compensation (DWC) pay unemployment insurance benefits?

No, DWC does not pay unemployment insurance benefits.

DWC has no role in the administration of the Iowa unemployment insurance system. The Division of Unemployment Insurance Services at Iowa Workforce Development administers the Iowa unemployment insurance system. That includes paying unemployment insurance benefits.

For more information about the Iowa unemployment insurance system, including the payment of unemployment insurance benefits, click here.

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More Info

For more information about workers' compensation in Iowa, click here.