Military Deafness Compensation Claims
Hearing loss can be career ending for military personnel, as well as having a major impact on the rest of your life. Claiming compensation can often be the only way to ensure you get the support you need to deal with these consequences for you and your family.
We know that Forces personnel often receive confusing or inaccurate information about their right to claim compensation for injuries sustained during their service. Our military claims specialists aim to provide clear answers to your questions and sympathetic, practical guidance through the whole claims process.
At Wolferstans, we are proud to act on behalf of serving and ex Armed Forces personnel, and their families, in connection with all types of military injury claim, including those connected to noise-induced hearing loss.
Our military injury solicitors can advise you on your right to claim and the process for doing so, including claims under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) and separate civil claims (which can be pursued alongside an AFCS claim). We want you to get the full compensation available, so you can get the support you need and move on as soon as possible.
We offer a free initial consultation to discuss your situation and answer your questions, including whether you are entitled to compensation and how the claims process works.
Most of our clients work with us on a “No Win, No Fee” basis, allowing you to avoid any upfront cost or financial risk when starting a claim.
Our military claims team understands how important your service career is to you. By giving you the right advice at the right time, we can get you the best support for your injuries while allowing you to maintain a positive relationship with the service you have given so much to.
How to claim compensation for military hearing loss
Making a civil military hearing loss claim against the MoD
To get the full amount of compensation you are entitled to, it may be necessary to pursue a civil claim against the MoD, as well as pursuing the claims routes available to you.
Key points about civil claims for military injuries:
- Both serving and ex-service personnel can make a civil claim
- You can start a civil claim at the same time as making an AFCS or War Pension Scheme claim (see below)
- There is a standard 3-year time limit to make a claim, although limited exceptions may apply (e.g. for military hearing loss claims)
- There is no upper limit to the amount of compensation that is potentially available
Army deafness claims under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS)
If your hearing loss was the result of, or was made worse by, something that occurred after 6 April 2005, you may be able to make a claim under the AFCS.
Key points to know about AFCS claims:
- Both serving and ex-Forces personnel can claim under the AFCS
- It is not necessary to show that someone was at fault in order for compensation to be awarded.
- AFCS compensation payments can range from £1,236 to £650,000
- Your claim must usually be submitted within 7 years of the injury occurring
- Depending on the circumstances, you may also be able to make a civil claim at the same time
Armed Forces hearing loss claims under the War Pension Scheme
If your claim relates to hearing loss that occurred before 6 April 2005, you will need to claim through the War Pension Scheme.
Key points to know about War Pension Scheme claims:
- Both serving and ex-Forces personnel can claim under the War Pension Scheme
- You do not need to show someone was at fault to be entitled to compensation
- You can receive a lump sum and/or an ongoing pension depending on the seriousness of your injuries
- There is no time limit to submit a claim
- You will usually be outside of the time limit to make a civil claim, although there are some limited exceptions that may apply
Funding for Armed Forces hearing loss claims
No win, no fee military deafness claims
More properly known as a ‘conditional fee agreement’, this is a way of funding your claim that means we will not charge you anything upfront. Our fees will only apply if we win compensation for you – if we do not get you compensation for your hearing loss, you won’t owe us anything.
Legal Expenses Insurance
The cost of making a claim may be covered by any specialist Armed Forces insurance you have, such as PAX. Legal expenses insurance is also often offered with home contents or motor insurance policies.
Privately funded military hearing loss claims
You can fund your military hearing loss claim privately if you wish and have the funds available to do so.
Common questions about military hearing loss claims
To have a claim, you will need to show that your hearing loss was caused by negligence or by deliberate action on the part of someone who had a duty of care towards you. This will most commonly be because you were provided with inadequate equipment to protect your hearing (or no hearing protection equipment whatsoever).
For military hearing loss, the responsible party you would be making a claim against will most often be the MoD (not the colleagues you were working with at the time) or a third party engaged by the MoD to provide services or equipment.
You must normally bring a claim within 3 years of the date of the incident that caused your hearing loss. If the hearing loss was due to repeated exposure to excessive noise (as is often the case), the time limit will normally be counted from the time of your most recent exposure.
The rules around time limit for military injury claims can be complex, especially those related to noise-induced hearing loss. As such, even if you think you may be out of time, you should call us to seek advice.
To determine the potential damages available for hearing loss caused by military service, we will need to assess the impact on your career and personal life. In general, the compensation you can claim falls into two categories:
Financial losses – for any specific financial losses you have experienced or expect to experience as a result of your hearing loss. This includes paying for treatment, hearing aids etc, as well as lost income (including the loss of expected future income).
Non-financial losses – for your pain and suffering, as well as ‘loss of amenity’ i.e. no longer being able to carry out activities you were previously able to prior to the damage to your hearing.
Yes. A common belief is that you need to wait until you have left the service to make a claim. This is not correct and can lead to injured personnel being out of time for making a claim.
Combat immunity means you cannot normally claim for injuries caused in the theatre of war. However, some service personnel have been able to make claims for such injuries, meaning this is not always clear cut.
Our specialist military solicitors have the experience and up-to-date expertise to accurately advise on whether the principle of combat immunity applies to your claim and whether you are likely to be able to pursue compensation.
We would advise you not to wait until the result of your Application under AFCS is known before making a civil claim as this could result in you being out of time in making a civil claim.
No, you can make a civil claim while also applying to the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) or War Pension Scheme. This is often worth doing as, in many cases, you will be awarded more by a Civil Court than by the AFCS or War Pension Scheme.
Have a question we haven’t answered?
Our friendly, expert team would be happy to speak to you and do our best to provide the answers you need.
Start a military deafness claim today by contacting our experts.