Under the Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1986
("the Act"), if a worker has suffered noise-induced
hearing Loss as a result of employment, he or she is potentially
entitled to be compensated by way of a lump sum for binaural
A threshold is applicable. Lump sum compensation will only be
paid if the worker's binaural hearing loss is at least 5 per
Importantly, under the Act, for a person who has resigned or
retired and suffers from noise-induced hearing loss and who brings
a claim within two years of the date of resignation or retirement,
it is presumed that the noise-induced hearing loss is
caused by employment.
That presumption is lost if a claim is brought outside of the
two-year limit. In other words, there is no presumption that
noise-induced hearing loss is caused by employment if a claim is
commenced after two years from the date of resignation or
retirement. In those circumstances, it becomes necessary to prove
the casual connection between employment and the noise-induced
The entitlement is particularly relevant to police officers,
many of whom suffer noise-induced hearing loss owing to employment,
either because of the use of firearms - without any or any adequate
protection - or due to policing pubs and places of entertainment
where loud music is often played.
In summary, many police officers have an entitlement to be
compensated by way of a lump sum under the Act for noise-induced
hearing loss caused by employment. But many officers do not realize
that, if they resign or retire their employment without bringing a
claim, a presumption that the noise-induced hearing loss is
work-related is lost after a period of two years from the date of
resignation or retirement.
If you have suffered noise-induced hearing loss that is likely
to be caused or to have been contributed to by employment, whether
or not you have resigned or retired, you should seek advice,
because you may have a claim and an entitlement to a lump sum of
money for your disability.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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