In order to be eligible for occupational hearing loss benefits in Wisconsin a worker or retiree must show that he or she worked in a noisy environment and, as a result, the worker has sustained a loss of hearing.
From the construction site to factories and first responders to truck drivers, damaging noise levels are pervasive. Under Wisconsin law, a worker must have a minimum of 90 days of noisy employment to be eligible to bring a claim.
Benefits for lost hearing include monetary compensation (usually about $5,000 to $15,000) and hearing aids. Claims for hearing loss benefits are simple and you pay no attorney’s fees unless your claim is successful.
Hearing Protection and Worker’s Compensation Benefits
On of the most common objections we hear when a worker or retiree considers bringing a claim for occupational hearing loss benefits is that hearing protection provided by the employer was sufficient to protect employees from dangerous levels of noise. Usually hearing protection takes the form of the small foam earplug, but over the years, we’ve had clients tell us that they were provided everything from cotton gauze to cotton balls as “hearing protection”!
According or OSHA, noise levels as low as 85 decibels are sufficient to cause hearing loss. In many work places – especially industrial environments with large machinery – the noise levels far exceeds 85 decibels.
We often find that many workers did not wear any hearing protection at all for many years. And then, when they begin wearing protection, many workers were unable to constantly wear protection because of the need to communicate with coworkers and supervisors.
Even if a worker wears hearing protection, it is frequently the case that the noise levels still exceed safe thresholds. We recommend wearing hearing protection during noisy tasks on the job and off. But remember that you or a loved one may be eligible for hearing loss benefits if you worked in a noisy environment. We encourage you to consult with The Hearing Professionals about whether you may be a candidate!
This guest blog was written by Jaron Mosier, an attorney with Nowlan & Moaut, LLP in Janesville, WI. Mr. Mosier represents clients throughout Wisconsin in recovering benefits for hearing loss. Mr. Mosier can be reached by calling (800) 754-8110 or by visiting his website at http://www.HearingLossWI.com.