Hearing loss caused by repeated exposure to loud noise at work is classified as an occupational disease. An occupational disease is not caused by a sudden identifiable traumatic event like an explosion. Many hearing-loss claims happen over years and sometimes decades of working around noisy motors or equipment. Other common examples of occupational diseases are carpel tunnel syndrome and asthma.
If you suffer from hearing loss due to your work conditions you may have a claim with the Department of Labor and Industries. Here are some facts you should know:
- Occupational disease claims must be filed within two years following the date you receive written notice from a physician that the occupational disease exists.
- Once your claim is allowed you will be eligible for ongoing benefits like medical treatment and hearing aid hardware.
- If your permanent hearing loss is severe, you may be eligible for a permanent partial disability settlement. Settlement amounts vary depending on hearing loss. Examples: $98,000 for complete loss of hearing in both ears or $16,000 for complete loss of hearing in one ear, according to the Dept. of L&I 2018 PPD schedule.
If you need an advocate to help you get the benefits you are entitled to through the Department of Labor and Industries, please call us to schedule a consultation.