Your Guide to Industrial Deafness Claims
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Your Guide to Industrial Deafness Claims (NSW & QLD)

industrial deafness claims

Industrial deafness is a serious concern for Australians working in factories, the mining industry, many trades and noisy workplaces. About one in six Australians has some degree of hearing loss, with serious consequences for their mental health, social and work lives. 

If you have developed a hearing impairment or hearing loss as a result of your job, you may be able to claim workers compensation. The state government in New South Wales and Queensland offer support programs to employees who have incurred occupational hearing loss – and we’ll be discussing these options below! 

Industrial Deafness or occupational deafness is a condition that is the result of excessive and/or prolonged exposure to loud noise in the workplace

Industrial Deafness Claim in New South Wales and Queensland 

Compensation Claims in New South Wales

For an employee currently working in a noisy environment and wants to make a claim, you will need to lodge a workers compensation claim through your current employer who in turn will contact their insurer to commence the claiming process. 

If you are not currently working in a noisy environment and want to make a claim, you will need to lodge a claim with your last employer who employed you in a noisy environment.

Lump Sum Payments

For a hearing loss injury caused by loud noise exposure (deemed from your workplace in NSW) before 1st January 2002, you can apply for a lump sum compensation if the assessed percentage of hearing loss in both ears (binaural) is 6% or greater.  

For a hearing loss injury caused by loud noise exposure (deemed from your workplace in NSW) on or after 1st January 2002, you can apply for a lump sum compensation. The claim assessment will be based on your degree of permanent hearing impairment.

For a hearing loss injury caused by loud noise exposure (deemed from your workplace in NSW) on or after 19th June 2012, you can apply for a lump sum compensation if the assessed percentage of hearing loss in both ears (binaural) is 20.5% or greater. Note: 20.5% binaural hearing loss equates to 11% permanent hearing impairment.

The percentage of binaural hearing loss will need to be assessed by a medical specialist (ie: Ear, Nose and Throat – ENT Specialist) as part of the claiming process for lump sum payments.

claiming process

Claiming Process for Lump Sum Payments in NSW

To claim for lump sum payment in NSW, you will need to:

  • Contact your current employer or previous employer (the last employer whom you were exposed to hazardous noise), and inform them that you want to or will be making a claim for lump sum payment for permanent hearing impairment. 
  • Complete a SIRA (State Insurance Regulatory Authority in NSW) Permanent Impairment Claim Form (downloadable from the SIRA website) and consult with an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist (trained assessor of permanent hearing impairment by SIRA), and undertake an audiological assessment (including audiogram) confirming the binaural hearing loss percentage.  

Your current employer’s or previous employer’s insurer will assist and guide you through this claiming process. Attune Hearing is an approved SIRA hearing provider and can do the hearing tests and audiological assessments.

Claiming the cost of hearing aids in NSW

To claim the cost of hearing aids, you will need to complete a SIRA Workers Injury Claim Form (downloadable from the SIRA website), undertake an audiological assessment (including audiogram) with an approved SIRA hearing provider with recommendations stating the use of hearing aids is beneficial, and obtain a quote for the cost of hearing aids from the approved SIRA hearing provider. 

Your current employer’s or previous employer’s insurer will assist and guide you through this claiming process. Attune Hearing is an approved SIRA hearing provider and can do the hearing tests and audiological assessments.

If your claim is successful, you will be entitled to hearing aids from an approved SIRA hearing provider every 5 years. Note: If you lose your hearing aids you can obtain a replacement set immediately.

Looking to book a hearing test? Book an appointment with your local hearing clinic!

compensation claims

Compensation Claims in Queensland

You can make a claim for industrial deafness with WorkCover QLD if you are a current worker, or if you have been out of work or retired for less than a year, have been diagnosed with industrial deafness and have a work capacity certificate from your doctor confirming this, and finally worked in the job for 5 years or more where the noise was a factor in your hearing loss.

Claiming Process for Lump Sum Payment in Queensland

If you are making a claim for industrial deafness in QLD and the claim outcome is successful, you will be entitled to a lump sum payment compensation based on the degree of permanent impairment (DPI). 

  • When you lodge a claim application, a WorkCover QLD team member will handle your claim request and respond as soon as possible (normally within a few business days). You will be required to provide details of your injury and any other information that is required to assist with your claim to WorkCover QLD.
  • WorkCover QLD may also speak to your employer to obtain details of your employment, and to inform them that a claim has been made.  
  • WorkCover QLD aims to make a decision on claims within 20 days or less, and will notify you if more time is required.
  • If your claim is accepted, WorkCover QLD will send you to see an audiologist to have your hearing assessed. This is to work out the extent of work-related long-term hearing loss you have experienced. The level of permanent damage applied to your injury is referred to as the degree of permanent impairment (DPI).
  • If your degree of permanent impairment (DPI) is between 5% and 19%, you must choose either to accept a claim assessment and lump sum compensation offer, or claim damages.
  • If your degree of permanent impairment (DPI) is 20% or greater, then you can only claim damages and accept the lump sum compensation offer.

Workplace Hearing with Attune

Attune Workplace Hearing is a leading provider of Audiometric Services, Audiological Services, and Noise Assessments for workplace clients in Australia. We conduct Audiometric Tests and Full Diagnostic Audiology Assessments in compliance with Australian standards.

To learn more about workplace hearing, visit our website! 

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