Iowa Workers' Compensation Glossary

Workers’ compensation is unfamiliar territory for many people. The following is a list of terms and their definitions that may be helpful.


An accommodation is any modification or adjustment to a job or the work environment that will enable a qualified applicant or employee with a disability to participate in the application process or to perform essential job functions.


The Americans with Disabilities Act is legislation that was passed in 1993 and amended in 2008. The University of Iowa supports the 2008 amendments and will attempt to provide reasonable accommodations for qualified persons with disabilities when the condition significantly affects the job.

Authorized Medical Care:

Care received at UI HealthWorks, or other provider as directed by Sedgwick CMS.

Explanation Of Benefits (EOB):

A statement from a health insurance company explaining the status of your claim.

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Leave:

Leave taken under the FMLA – time away from work that is protected for up to twelve weeks per calendar year for eligible employees. Eligible employees missing time from work due to work injuries utilize FMLA leave for related absences.

First Report of Injury Form:

Used to report a work-related injury.

Healing Period:

The length of time your body is recovering or ‘healing’ related to a workers’ compensation injury as determined by authorized medical providers.


Iowa Occupational Safety and Health Department – This is the State of Iowa counterpart to the federal organization OSHA.

Maximum Medical Improvement Status (MMI):

A term used by medical providers to indicate when a patient has attained a ‘recovery plateau’; that is, the patient is not expected to improve significantly beyond the indicated date.


Occupational Safety and Health Administration – A federal agency designed to monitor the work environment and promote worker safety.

Patient Status Report (PSR):

A specific document completed by the authorized medical provider that indicates medical diagnosis, treatment plan, physical restrictions/capabilities, and recheck date, if any.

Permanent Impairment:

A determination made by a physician indicating the percentage of permanent deficit/loss directly related to a specific injury or incident.

Permanent Partial Disability:

A determination made by physician when the healing period has ended (MMI) indicating a permanent health status/condition exists for which permanent restrictions may be assigned.

Restricted Duty (or Work):

A term describing work that is within identified medical restrictions, prior to MMI Status.


These medical limitations prescribed by the treating physician limit physical activities and daily life functions.

Sedgwick CMS:

The third party administrator for all State of Iowa workers’ compensation claims.

UI Occupational Health:

A specialty clinic that directs the care of employees injured on the job.