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Workers' Compensation: Iowa

Workers' Compensation requirements for other states

Federal law and guidance on this subject should be reviewed together with this section.

Author: Nicole Farley, Fisher Phillips.


  • All Iowa employers that do not carry workers' compensation insurance coverage are required to post the Iowa Workers' Compensation Notice Poster in the workplace. See Notice Requirements.
  • The Workers' Compensation Law in the Iowa Code provides the exclusive remedy for workplace injuries and occupational diseases, with one major exception. See Covered Employers.
  • All employers, unless specifically exempted, must carry workers' compensation insurance, whether private insurance or self-insurance. See Covered Employers.
  • Most employees who are injured in Iowa, working under contract of hire made in Iowa, or whose employment is principally localized in Iowa, are eligible for benefits if they have a job-related injury. See Covered Employees.
  • A compensable injury is one that arises out of and in the course of employment. Occupational diseases are compensable. See Compensable Injuries.
  • Employers are not liable for certain types of injuries. See Employer Defenses to Workers' Compensation Claims.
  • Workers' compensation pays for all reasonable and necessary medical care to treat an injured worker, including reasonably necessary transportation expenses and payment of lost wages. See Benefits.
  • The Supreme Court of Iowa has ruled it is against public policy for an employer to terminate an injured worker's employment in retaliation for seeking workers' compensation benefits. See Retaliation and Interference.
  • Disputed claims go through hearings and the resulting decisions may be appealed. See Disputed Claims Process.