If you have hearing loss because you were exposed to noise at work, or because you had an accident at work, you might be able to get Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB).
IIDB is a benefit for people who have become disabled or ill as a result of their job, or an approved employment training scheme or course.
The benefit is provided by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in England, Scotland and Wales, and the Department for Communities in Northern Ireland.
The benefit is non-contributory, which means it doesn’t matter how many national insurance contributions you’ve made. It’s also not means-tested, which means you can claim it regardless of any income or savings you have.
You can get IIDB even if you’re still working.
Who can claim IIDB
You may be able to get IIDB if you have hearing loss because:
- you were exposed to noise at work over a period of time – this is called occupational deafness, or
- you had an accident at work or while on an approved training scheme or course.
How to claim IIDB
If you live in England, Scotland or Wales
You can download a claim form from the GOV.UK website, or ask for a claim form in the post by contacting the Barnsley Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB) Centre:
- 0800 121 8379
- 0800 169 0314
- Relay UK
- 18001 then 0800 121 8379
Lines are open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm
If you live in Northern Ireland
You can download a claim form from the nidirect website, or ask for a claim form in the post by contacting the Industrial Injuries Branch of the Department for Communities or any Jobs and Benefits office.
Occupational deafness is classified as a prescribed industrial disease. It means hearing loss caused by exposure to noise in a job that is officially accepted as potentially causing deafness.
These jobs are called ‘listed occupations’. To check if your job is a listed occupation:
- see the list on the GOV.UK website if you live in England, Scotland or Wales
- download the list on the nidirect website if you live in Northern Ireland.
If you are claiming IIDB for occupational deafness, you will be invited 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 damage must be caused by noise at work.
If you meet this criteria, you will then have a medical examination carried out by one or two doctors who are specially trained in industrial injuries disablement matters.
The doctor will advise on whether your hearing loss is a prescribed disease, and if so the level of your disablement and how long it is expected to last.
The doctor will send a written report to the decision-maker based upon the examination and any other medical evidence.
Hearing loss caused by an industrial accident
You may be able to claim IIDB for hearing loss caused by an industrial accident if:
- you were employed when the accident or event happened
- you were on an approved employment training scheme or course when the accident or event happened
- the work accident or event that caused your illness or disability happened in the UK.
Unlike occupational deafness, you don’t need to have worked in a specified job to qualify under the rules for industrial accidents.
You will need to have a medical examination to assess whether or not your hearing loss has been caused by an industrial accident, and the level of your disablement.
How much you will get
The amount of benefit you get will depend on the extent of your disablement. This will be assessed by a medical advisor on a scale of 1 to 100% in Great Britain, and 0 to 100% in Northern Ireland.
Normally you must be assessed as 14% disabled to get the benefit.
For a guide to how much you might get each week, see the GOV.UK website.
Whether you claim IIDB or not, you could also claim compensation through the civil courts for hearing loss caused by your job. You must claim within three years of your industrial accident or when your occupational deafness first occurs.
How IIDB affects other benefits
Benefits for industrial injuries may affect other benefits you get.
You may also qualify for other benefits if you are disabled from disease or hearing loss as a result of work – but they may reduce the amount of income-related benefits you get. Tell your benefits office if you get IIDB and related benefits.
To find out more about IIDB, including how it affects other benefits and how to challenge a decision: