The Hearing Care Industry Association commends the NSW Government for restoring lifetime compensation for workers who sustain hearing impairment as a result of workplace exposure.
“Hearing is a critical sense. Hearing loss lasts a lifetime. HCIA called on the NSW government to restore lifetime workers compensation cover to include hearing aids, their repairs, replacement and batteries,” said HCIA Chairman, Mr John Pappalardo.
“We are very pleased the Government listened to our call. The 2012 changes set a severe and a very unhealthy precedent for hearing impaired Australians. HCIA led a major lobbying effort to get the NSW Government to reconsider the consequences of its actions and we are delighted they listened.
“Workers will once again be entitled to ongoing compensation for hearing loss where this condition resulted from their workplace not meeting occupational health and safety standards with regard to noise exposure,” he said.
Affected worker, Mr Graham Holdgate said, “As someone who experienced work-induced hearing loss, I already paid a very high price for this injury. Hearing loss affected my relationships and made me feel isolated and depressed. Expecting people with work-related hearing loss to pay for hearing aids, their replacement and batteries just added insult and financial burden to that injury. I’m glad the NSW Government has found the means to set the system right.”
Background: As at 1 January 2014, for workers injured after October 2012, WorkCover no longer covered the cost of a replacement hearing aids or the cost of batteries for more than twelve months, while those workers injured before this date were only covered until retirement age. The worker who had endured the injury causing their hearing loss was wholly responsible for paying these costs.
Mr John Pappalardo
Ms Donna Staunton
HCIA Chief Executive Officer
Mr Graham Holdgate