If you have suffered hearing loss as a result of your work environment or an accident on the job, you may be able to get workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation benefits are sometimes associated with sudden injuries, but even injuries that develop over time can be covered.
Hearing loss is a significant issue that can have a long-lasting impact on your life. Employees may no longer be able to perform their job duties if they cannot hear, or they may have difficulty with their normal daily activities.
Iowa’s workers’ compensation can, and should, cover hearing loss that is associated with your workplace.
What kinds of compensation are available for those with hearing loss?
If you develop hearing loss as a result of the workplace, you may be entitled to compensation. For the loss of hearing in one ear, you may receive up to 50 weeks of benefits as a scheduled member (as of July 1, 2017). If you lose hearing in both ears, they you may be entitled to up to 175 weeks in benefits.
The amount of compensation you’ll receive is based on the regulations for scheduled members rather than for those who have a disability under the category “body as a whole.” Scheduled members receive compensation based on the total functional impairment that the work injury causes. Hearing loss in one or both ears is included on the scheduled member disability list.
The total amount of compensation is based on a full loss. So, if you have partial hearing loss, you may be entitled to only a portion of the permanent partial disability benefits that are included on Iowa’s benefits schedule.
You deserve support if you’re hurt on the job
Any time you’re hurt at work, it’s beneficial to go over your benefits and to determine if you qualify. If you are denied benefits because it isn’t believed that your hearing loss is linked to your job, you have a right to appeal that decision. With the right support, you can seek the compensation that you need to help you as you adjust to life with a new or worsened disability.