184.108.40.206 Assess further hearing loss
Prior hearing loss means a loss of hearing for which a worker has received compensation (under any compensation law of the Commonwealth or a State or Territory of the Commonwealth).
Prior injury means industrial deafness for which the worker has received or become entitled to receive compensation for loss of hearing.
Agent to convert
The Agent is to convert the current hearing loss NAL to whole person impairment.
The Agent is to convert the prior hearing loss NAL (or equivalent) to whole person.
Assessing further hearing loss
If a worker lodges a claim for further hearing loss the percentage impairment from any prior assessments should not be deducted from the new assessment.
Note: Only those claims that have a previously compensated prior injury or hearing loss are to have their entitlement calculated in line with the legislation.
See: Del Borgo v Nisselle & Ors
Determining liability – claims lodged on or after 18/11/04
If a prior hearing loss claim has been made and compensated Agents should obtain the following information before determining liability for a ‘further injury’ hearing loss claim:
- the documents used to calculate the previous hearing loss entitlement including audiograms, medical reports and notice of entitlement or settlement A lump sum payment that replaces an injured worker's right to ongoing weekly compensation.
- up to date audiograms and medical reports (if possible)
- a circumstance report Reports produced by private investigators about the details of a claim. from the worker’s current employment to confirm if employment is considered a significant contributing factor
- CERA testing results, if Agent cannot determine whether any deterioration of hearing loss is work-related An injury/disease is work related if it arose out of or in the course of employment and the scope of employment..
Level of hearing loss has not deteriorated
If the evidence indicates that the worker’s level of hearing has not deteriorated liability should not be accepted for any claimed deterioration/further injury.
Marginal increment in hearing loss
If there is a marginal increment in hearing loss and the Agent cannot determine whether the deterioration is work-related further testing (eg CERA testing) should be arranged to assess liability.
Liability accepted for subsequent deterioration
If a subsequent deterioration in hearing loss is confirmed and liability is accepted the Agent:
- must not request the IIA Independent impairment assessment to deduct any NAL/WPI Whole person impairment percentage in relation to the prior hearing loss
- is to calculate the 'further injury' hearing loss in line with the legislation.
Within the calculation method:
“T” refers to the current total whole person impairment and
“P” refers to the prior total whole person impairment.