HC Deb 02 July 1997 vol 297 c207W
Mr. Öpik

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if she will make a statement on the rules governing Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit for the prescribed disease occupational deafness. [6084]

Mr. Denham

Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit can be paid if a person has worked for an employer for 10 years in certain jobs where noise is a hazard, and they have suffered a hearing loss of at least 50 decibels in both ears due to damage in the inner ear, and in at least one ear this damage was due to noise at work. A person must have worked in one of the specified jobs at some time during the five years before they make their claim. A wide range of jobs is specified in the regulations, and the Government are advised by the independent Industrial Injuries Advisory Council about those jobs which they consider are particularly at risk and should be added to the regulations. The Council is currently reviewing the list of diseases for which benefit can be paid, including occupational deafness.

The rules for claiming Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit for occupational deafness, and the jobs which are covered, are clearly set out in leaflet NI 207 produced by the Benefits Agency which is widely available.