Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Loss of Hearing, Loss of Vision, or Loss of Function

Worker With Hearing Loss That Is Fighting the Workers' Compensation System in MassachusettsWhether it was a sudden accident that cost you your vision or repeated exposure to loud noises that cost you your hearing, your life and ability to work have been forever changed by a workplace injury.

Workers’ compensation benefits may be available to help you as you adapt to life without your sight or without your hearing. However, as is the case with most insurance benefits, you are going to have to know what benefits you may receive pursuant to Massachusetts law and you are going to have to know how to protect your right to receive those benefits.

Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Loss of Vision and Loss of Hearing

If you suffer a non-vision or non-hearing related injury, then you may receive a percentage of your average weekly wages up to the maximum amount allowed by law. You can also receive these workers’ compensation benefits if you suffer from blindness, vision problems, deafness, or other loss of bodily function.

Additionally, you may be allowed further benefits for loss of function to a specific body part. Massachusetts workers’ compensation law provides specific calculations for loss of function to a specific body part. For loss of vision, Massachusetts law allows you to recover:

  • 96 times the state average weekly wage for total loss of vision or reduction of 20/70 in both eyes with glasses.
  • 39 times the state average weekly wage for total loss of vision or reduction of 20/70 of one eye with glasses or loss of single binocular vision.
  • 34.5 times the state average weekly wage for a correctible permanent but partial reduction in acuity or field of vision of 20/60.
  • 24.5 times the state average weekly wage for a correctible permanent but partial reduction in acuity or field of vision of 20/50.
  • 19.5 times the state average weekly wage for a correctible permanent but partial reduction in acuity or field of vision of 20/45.
  • 14.5 times the state average weekly wage for a correctible permanent but partial reduction in acuity or field of vision of 20/40.
  • 12.5 times the state average weekly wage for a correctible permanent but partial reduction in acuity or field of vision of 20/35.
  • 10 times the state average weekly wage for a correctible permanent but partial reduction in acuity or field of vision of 20/30.

For loss of hearing, Massachusetts law allows you to recover:

  • 77 times the state average weekly wage for total loss of hearing in both ears.
  • 29 times the state average weekly wage for total loss of hearing in one year.

Other types of loss of function injuries with specific rules for calculating workers’ comp benefits include loss of:

  • Arms
  • Hand or wrist
  • Fingers
  • Legs
  • Feet and ankles
  • Spine
  • Equilibrium
  • Lung
  • Kidney
  • Language comprehension
  • Sexual function
  • Taste
  • Smell
  • Spleen
  • Urinary or bowel
  • Teeth
  • Brain function due to injury

Unfortunately, these benefits will not be provided to you automatically. Instead, workers’ compensation insurers may try to get you to settle your claim for as little as possible.

Protect Your Benefits With the Help of a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

What happened to you may seem straightforward. Perhaps debris got into your eye on your construction site and caused you to lose your sight. Maybe repeated loud noises at your manufacturing job cost you your hearing. You know what happened, your employer knows what happened, and the insurance company may still try to get you to settle for less than your claim is worth.

Our experienced workers’ compensation lawyers know how to negotiate with insurance companies and protect the rights of injured workers. We will make sure that you meet all of the workers’ compensation deadlines and that your application for benefits is complete. Then we will advocate for you to receive not only the benefits described above but also medical benefits, vocational and rehabilitation benefits, and any other benefits that you may recover pursuant to state workers’ compensation law.

To learn more about the benefits you should receive after a work-related loss of vision or hearing, please contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.

 

John L. Keefe
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Founding Attorney, Massachusetts Social Security Disability Lawyer