Occupational Deafness State Benefits

You may be entitled to state benefits if you fall within the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) criteria.  The usual benefit paid for occupational deafness is Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit.

Occupational Deafness

In claims for occupational deafness, the DWP will arrange for you to have a hearing test to see if you have an average hearing loss of at least 50 decibels in both ears due to damage to the inner ear. In at least one ear this must be due to noise at work. If the doctor advises that you satisfy this test you will then have a medical examination. If not, your claim will be sent back to the decision maker who will consider whether to disallow it.

To receive benefit for occupational deafness, your disablement must be assessed as 20% or more. (Legislation (68) – SS (II) (PD) Regs 1985 reg 29(a))

If the assessment is less than 20% for occupational deafness it cannot be aggregated with any other assessment of disablement. (Legislation (69) – SS (II) (PD) Regs 1985 reg 15(3))

DWP Definitions:

Occupational deafness:
Sensorineural hearing loss amounting to at least 50dB in each ear, being the average of hearing losses at 1, 2 and 3 kHz frequencies, and being due in the case of at least one ear to occupational noise.

Occupational Noise:
The use of, or work wholly or mainly in the immediate vicinity of the use of, a:
(a) band saw, circular saw or cutting disc to cut metal in the metal founding or forging industries, circular saw to cut products in the manufacture of steel, powered (other than hand powered) grinding tool on metal (other than sheet metal or plate metal), pneumatic percussive tool on metal, pressurised air arc tool to gouge metal, burner or torch to cut or dress steel-based products, skid transfer bank, knock out and shake out grid in a foundry, machine (other than a power press machine) to forge metal including a machine used to drop stamp metal by means of closed or open dies or drop hammers, machine to cut or shape or clean metal nails, or plasma spray gun to spray molten metal;
(b) pneumatic percussive tool to drill rock in a quarry, on stone in a quarry works, underground, for mining coal, for sinking a shaft, or for tunnelling in civil engineering works;
(c) vibrating metal moulding box in the concrete products industry, or circular saw to cut concrete masonry blocks;
(d) machine in the manufacture of textiles for weaving man-made or natural fibres (including mineral fibres), high speed false twisting of fibres, or the mechanical cleaning of bobbins
(e) multi-cutter moulding machine on wood, planing machine on wood, automatic or semiautomatic lathe on wood, multiple cross-cut machine on wood, automatic shaping machine onwood, double-end tenoning machine on wood, vertical spindle moulding machine (including a high speed routing machine) onwood, edge banding machine on wood, bandsawing machine (with a blade width of not less than 75 millimetres) on wood, circular sawing machine on wood including one operated by moving the blade towards the material being cut, or chain saw on wood;
(f) jet of water (or mixture of water and abrasive material) at a pressure above 680 bar, or jet channelling process to burn stone in a quarry;
(g) machine in a ship’s engine room, or gas turbine for performance testing on a test bed, installation testing of a replacement engine in an aircraft, or acceptance testing of an Armed Service fixed wing combat aircraft;
(h) machine in the manufacture of glass containers or hollow ware for automatic moulding, automatic blow moulding, or automatic glass pressing and forming;
(i) spinning machine using compressed air to produce glass wool or mineral wool;
(j) continuous glass toughening furnace;
(k) firearm by a police firearms training officer; or
(l) shot-blaster to carry abrasives in air for cleaning.

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