Can I Claim Workers’ Compensation for Hearing Loss?
Sustaining hearing loss because of workplace factors is a significant concern you should not ignore. It affects your clear communication skills and may cause limitations to your work and personal life.
Thankfully, the law allows you to claim workers’ compensation for hearing loss. You only need to know how to file a claim for hearing difficulty and be aware of the benefits you can enjoy.
Work-Related Hearing Loss
Different workplace factors can cause hearing difficulties to an employee, such as:
- Constant loud noise exposure, like the sound of heavy machinery
- Extreme temperatures like severe winter cold which cause ear frostbites
- Exposure to dangerous chemicals
- Dirt and other contaminants lodging in the ear
- Head trauma
Hearing loss could be mild without significant changes to a person’s work abilities. However, it could also be severe enough to cause crucial limitations to a worker.
For example, hearing loss can make it hard for a sales employee to communicate with customers through phone calls.
Moreover, hearing loss makes it difficult for workers to hear vital sound signals. For example, a delivery boy can’t hear car horns while driving because of hearing disabilities.
Proving Work-related Hearing Loss and Claiming Workers’ Comp
It’s, however, challenging to prove that your hearing impairment is work-related. That’s because hearing difficulties can also result from factors outside the workplace, like:
- Frequent listening to loud music
- Genetic conditions
- Diseases that affect the ear
- Physical injury outside the workplace
The thing is that it’s vital to prove that your hearing impairment is work-related to claim workers’ comp. This is where these points will help you establish your case:
1. Get a Medical Check-Up
Consult an otolaryngologist or an Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) specialist for a check-up immediately after sustaining ear injury or irritation. The specialist may suggest you undergo an audiogram test to measure the severity of your hearing loss.
Moreover, tell the specialist about the cause of your ear problem, and they will confirm it for you. Ask for a medical report to support your claim too.
2. Start the Workers’ Comp Claim
Report your hearing loss to your employer and ask for a workers’ comp claim form. Fill in all details in the employees’ section, and submit the form to your employer.
Your employer will fill their part of the form and submit it to the workers’ comp insurance provider for an investigation.
3. Hire an Attorney
Consult a workers’ compensation attorney in Glendale to help prove your case. They will investigate your case and communicate with your employer’s insurance carrier to fight for the benefits you deserve.
4. Provide Evidence to Your Lawyer
Give a copy of your medical report to your lawyer and provide more pieces of evidence. Good examples are witness testimonies from your coworkers proving that your hearing loss is work-related.
5. Receiving Your Compensation
Your employers’ insurance provider will release the compensation after approving your claim.
However, file an appeal in the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board if the insurance carrier denies your claim. You may have to consult with your lawyer about this option if necessary.
Workers’ Comp Benefits You Deserve
Here are the benefits you should receive if your claim is approved:
- Medical treatment and devices like hearing aids
- Temporary or permanent disability benefits to cover your financial loss because of hearing impairment
- Supplemental Job Displacement benefits if you need to undergo training for a new job that suits your condition
In addition, your employer may also need to provide workplace adjustments to accommodate your hearing loss. For example, they may assign you to a computer task where you don’t need to handle phone calls.
Contact a Glendale Workers’ Compensation Lawyer to Prove Your Hearing Loss Case
Sustaining hearing loss is a challenging situation that may bring significant changes in your life. That’s why you should claim workers’ comp to get the necessary treatment and financial aid.
Consult a workers’ compensation attorney in Glendale to support your workers’ comp claim for hearing loss.