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Work Comp Q&A: My Employment Ended. Can I Still File a Work Comp Claim?

On Behalf of | Jan 20, 2022 | Workers' Compensation Posted On: June 20th, 2022

The Iowa Workers’ Compensation law was created for people who get injured while working for an employer. So, if you were employed by or working for a company when the injury happened, you can file a claim for Work Comp within 90 days—regardless of whether you are still employed. You may quit the job, get fired, or be part of a reduction in force. The reason for leaving doesn’t matter.

Here are a few common questions about employment status and Workers’ Compensation that we would like to address:

  • What if my employment ended by quitting or getting let go?
  • What if I was in training for a job when I got injured?
  • How is “employee” defined for Iowa Work Comp?

What if my employment ended?

If you were employed and working for the company in question when the injury happened, Work Comp can still be claimed. If you quit or were fired and you reported the injury within the 90-day timeframe to that employer, you should still be eligible to make a claim. The main consideration is that you must have been employed at the time the work injury occurred.

What if I was in training for a job when I got injured?

According to Iowa Work Comp law, you are considered an employee when being paid for training or under certain evaluative programs. So, if you attend paid work training and are injured during that training, Work Comp can apply to the situation. Be sure to report an injury that occurs during work training activities as soon as possible.

How is “employee” defined?

Many people wonder, “Who is an employee when it comes to Work Comp?” This is an interesting question. Iowa law is generally inclusive and broad when it comes to “employees” and Work Comp.

As you can see, even undocumented workers and illegally employed minors have been eligible for Work Comp, as well as people who quit their job but were injured when they returned to the work site to retrieve tools or other work materials.

People who are not eligible for workers’ compensation include individuals who fit the legal definition of independent contractors. Examples of independent contractors in Iowa include some farm workers or truck drivers. Sole proprietors, as well as business partners, are also generally not eligible.

Eligible for Work Comp:

  • Undocumented workers
  • Illegally employed minors
  • Corporate executive officers
  • Elected officials
  • Inmates working on prison projects
  • Trainees
  • Former employees who quit but are injured when returning to the site

Not Eligible for Work Comp:

  • Independent contractors, such as truck drivers, farm workers, etc.
  • Sole proprietors
  • Partners
  • Joint ventures

If you’re not sure if you meet the standards for making a workers’ compensation claim, assume that you do and report a work-related, one-the-job injury as soon as you can. By telling them about your injury, you overcome the first very common hurdle to receiving workers’ compensation.

Know Your Workers’ Compensation Rights

Just in case you become injured on the job, you should be informed about your rights. Iowa Work Comp law can be confusing and difficult to understand. The experienced Work Comp attorneys at Wertz Law invite you to learn more about Work Comp now. If you have any questions about a work injury claim, please contact us for a free consultation.