Occupational hearing loss occurs due to exposure to loud noises or harmful sound levels in the workplace over an extended period. Many jobs can lead to hearing loss, but some of the most common ones include:
- Airport work
- Mining and drilling
- Military service
- Music work
- Agricultural work
Sometimes it can be difficult to prove that hearing loss occurred in the workplace. In addition, it’s important to know how the statute of limitations can impact your workers’ compensation claim.
The Statute of Limitations
Many people who experience occupational hearing loss experience the loss after leaving the job where the hearing loss occurred, either by retiring or by moving on to a new job. New York law makes provisions for these instances and requires that you be out of harmful exposure for 90 days before your hearing loss may be accurately measured.
You may file a claim:
- Three months from the date you were removed from the harmful noise at the workplace.
- Three months after being given protective gear to defend against workplace hearing loss. If you wear the equipment and lose your hearing anyway, your workplace will still be required to pay your workers’ compensation claim.
- Three months after leaving the employment in which the exposure to the harmful noise occurred.
You may file beyond a two-year statute of limitations if you do so within 90 days of learning that the hearing loss you’re suffering is related to your employment.
Hearing Loss Benefits in New York
When you lose your hearing on the job, you’re eligible for the following benefits:
- Payment for medical treatments, medications, and medical devices addressing your hearing loss, including hearing aids.
- Disability benefits if the hearing loss renders you unable to do your job at a rate of ⅔ of your weekly wage while you are out of work.
- Schedule of loss cash benefit awards for 150 weeks for the loss of an ear, calculated once you’ve reached maximum medical improvement.
Of course, receiving these benefits relies on whether you file the claim correctly. You must report the injury to your employer, receive medical treatment, and file the appropriate claims.
In addition, you should be prepared for your insurance company to try to deny your benefits. They will try to claim that hearing loss is age-related or that you listened to your music too loud. We can often dispute these claims by proving that sufficient noise levels existed at your workplace to lead to hearing loss and by proving you are in an industry that regularly suffers from hearing loss.
Get Help Today
When dealing with a claim like hearing loss, it’s always wise to retain a workers’ compensation attorney as quickly as possible.
If your occupational hearing loss claim has been denied, contact us. We’ll help you protect your rights and gain the compensation you deserve.
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