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Injured Iowa workers face delays in getting hearing dates

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Injured Iowa workers seeking benefits from their employers will have to wait longer to get their hearing dates as a state agency transitions to a new filing system.

Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commissioner Joseph Cortese told lawmakers in a letter Tuesday that a moratorium on scheduling new hearings will likely continue for another four to six weeks.

His agency imposed the moratorium in July when it launched a new online case management system to replace a legacy system that dated to the 1970s.

The transition included converting data on 885,000 workers’ compensation claims. Shutting down the old system has temporarily prevented the agency from being able to schedule new hearings because that tool isn’t ready to be launched yet.

Sen. Nate Boulton, D-Des Moines, says there is growing frustration among lawyers for claimants and employers about the impact of the moratorium.

But Cortese says the situation shouldn’t result in delays in deciding claims. He says it means only that cases that will go to hearing after June 30, 2020 will be scheduled later than normal.



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