Changes to the entitlement to claim medical expenses in hearing loss claims – RTWSA fee schedule (1 March 2018)

On 1 March 2018 a fee schedule will apply to claims for new and /or replacement hearing aids and other medical expenses claimed for noise induced hearing loss under the Return to Work Act 2014.

The fee schedule sets out the amount that can be claimed for expenses such as hearing aids, assessment and fitting fees, batteries and repair and maintenance costs. Fee schedules are not a new concept in workers compensation and are already in place for other medical services such as psychology, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and medical fees.

Key points:

  • The fee schedule commences on 1 March 2018.
  • It applies to all claims, including for new hearing aids and/or for replacement devices.
  • If a worker claims an expense beyond the set rates, such as a more expensive hearing aid, then the worker must fund the difference between the fee schedule allowance and the full cost of the expense being claimed.
  • The entitlement to claim medical expenses for life is unaffected.
  • Lump sum compensation is unaffected.
  • Claims made under Commonwealth workers compensation legislation are unaffected.

It is important that when being fitted with hearing aids pursuant to a worker’s compensation claim that both a worker and their audiologist/audiometrist are mindful of the limits payable by the insurer and that appropriate hearing aids are recommended and fitted.

A copy of the fee schedule can be accessed at this link.

Turner Freeman Lawyers are specialists in claims for work related noise induced hearing loss and can assist workers and hearing aid providers with advice and/or representation in relation to medical expenses claims.