If you are, or have been, an employee of a Commonwealth department, or an employer who holds a license through Comcare, such as Australia Post or Telstra, and have been exposed to loud noise in the course of that employment, you may be eligible for compensation for your hearing loss under the federal workers compensation scheme.
This scheme is managed by Comcare, who is the national authority for work health and safety and workers’ compensation. The Commonwealth workers compensation scheme is very different to the State workers compensation schemes.
A worker who suffers a hearing loss as a result of their exposure to loud noise in their Commonwealth employment is entitled to make a claim for compensation under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (“SRC Act”).
You may be entitled to claim any of the following:
- Hearing aids, if these are considered reasonably necessary and required due to the injury.
- Permanent impairment compensation.
- Pain and suffering compensation (non-economic loss compensation), if:
- You suffer from loss of enjoyment of life, or some other loss, due to your injury;
- You suffer from ongoing pain or suffering due to your injury;
- Your injury has affected your personal or social life; or
- Your injury has affected your ability to engage in reactional and leisure activities.
To be entitled to permanent impairment compensation, your degree of hearing loss must satisfy a minimum loss set out in the legislation. Different thresholds apply depending on when the noisy employment occurred. To determine whether your degree of loss satisfies the minimum loss, your total hearing loss due to industrial deafness will be first calculated by an audiologist and then apportioned over the whole period of noise exposure during your employment.
The process and legal fees
Once you have undergone an initial hearing test, we will assess your results and provide you with further advice, including your prospects of pursuing a claim.
If you have not had a hearing test, we will arrange for a free hearing test for you.
If you have a loss which we can show is caused by loud noise exposure at work, we can make that claim and will do that on a “no win, no fee” basis. If you are unsuccessful in obtaining compensation, you will not be charged for any of our costs or the disbursements we fund in order to bring the claim.