If you work in an environment where you are constantly being exposed to loud noises, you may be risking your hearing. According to the law, an employer must provide you with some type of ear protection, such as earplugs or sound-blocking headphones. Once you leave your job and have been diagnosed with the job-related hearing loss, you may be entitled to some degree of compensation.
What Are the Requirements for Compensation?
To qualify for compensation benefits, you must have worked in the environment for at least 90 days and been exposed to noise that was over and above 90 decibels. Even though your employer is required to provide you with ear protection, they are still liable if you incur any hearing loss while on the job.
Bilateral Hearing Loss
In order for you to receive any type of benefit for job-related hearing loss, your hearing must have been damaged in both ears. The damage does not have to be the same in both ears, but each one must show some degree of damage. The only time this does not apply is if you had congenital hearing loss in one of your ears.
Related Article: Occupational Hearing Loss: Prevention & Claim
Does My Hearing Loss Have To Be Permanent?
Temporary hearing loss is not something that is covered by worker's compensation. Your hearing loss must be permanent and irreversible for you to be eligible to file a claim for hearing loss.
When Can I File My Claim?
In order to file a claim, you must no longer be exposed to the noise in the workplace. Whether this is due to you leaving your position or your employer enforcing the use of ear protection, you can only file when you no longer have any exposure to the noise.
Related Article: Overcoming Legal Hassles for a Hearing Loss Claim