Industrial deafness claim time limit under WorkCover
There is no time limit in which you have to lodge a WorkCover industrial deafness claim in Victoria.
This is the case in relation to the lodgment of an initial claim, which would entitle you to the payments of medical and like expenses as well as weekly payments. It’s also the case in relation to the lodgment of an impairment lump sum claim for industrial deafness.
If you wish to lodge a common law claim for your industrial hearing loss, then there will be a time limit but what that time limit is can be complex.
This page will explore the topic of time limits for industrial deafness claims in more detail.
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No time limit to lodging an initial WorkCover claim
There is no time limit in which you have to lodge an initial WorkCover claim for industrial deafness in Victoria.
An initial WorkCover claim, once accepted, may entitle you to claim medical and like expenses and weekly payments.
Although, when it comes to industrial deafness claims and claiming weekly payments, most claims won’t involve a person claiming weekly payments.
This is because although industrial deafness may have a significant impact on a person’s ability to hear, it is not likely to have an impact on their capacity to work.
And weekly payments are paid to a person based on their capacity – or more accurately, their incapacity – to work.
If an injury impacts their ability to work, either on a complete or partial basis, then they may have an entitlement to claim weekly payments.
Back to the issue of time limit when lodging an initial WorkCover claim:
The hearing loss could have occurred 5 years ago or 20 years ago. It doesn’t matter.
It also doesn’t matter that you might not have been diagnosed with industrial hearing loss until recently.
Last employer where you might have suffered the noise induced hearing loss
What is important when it comes to hearing loss claims is determining during which employment you suffered the hearing loss with.
So if you worked for the last 20 years in an employer where loud noises was common, then it’s this employer’s WorkCover policy that would cover the claim.
However, here’s where things can get a bit complicated for people.
Lets say that over the last 20 years you worked with an employer for 18 years where loud noises were common, and then two years where loud noises were also common.
You might believe that it’s the 18 years of employment with the first employer where the hearing loss occurred.
However, what the law says is that it’s the last relevant employer where you were exposed to loud noise.
So potential in this instance the WorkCover claim would be under the policy of the employer you worked with for 2 years.
There are instances where it won’t be the more recent employer, but in general the above is how the law works.
So it’s not about time when it comes to hearing loss claims – in that there’s no date by which a hearing loss claim needs to be lodged.
Impairment lump claim time limit for industrial deafness
As with the lodgment of an initial WorkCover claim entitling a person to the payment of medical and like expenses and in limited instances, weekly payments, there is no time limit in which to lodge an impairment lump sum claim for industrial hearing loss.
Common law claim time limit for industrial deafness
Like common law claims for physical injury, there is a time limit for the lodgment of common law claims for industrial hearing loss.
That time limit is 6 years from the date of injury (in the instance of hearing loss, it would likely be considered to be 6 years from when the hearing loss stopped occurring – such as when you left an employer).
Alternatively, the date could be considered to be 6 years from the date you first were diagnosed with industrial hearing loss.
It’s worth noting however that common law claims for industrial hearing loss are very rare.
WorkCover Industrial hearing loss claims are not subject to time limits, for the most part.
You’re able to lodge an initial WorkCover claim, which would entitle you once accepted to the payment of medical and like expenses and in very limited instances, weekly payments, at any time.
This also applies to the lodgement of an impairment lump sum claim.
If you want to lodge an common law claim, then there is a time limit by which a claim should be lodged. However common law claims for industrial hearing loss are very rare.