CHOICE membership

Industrial Deafness Australia

I’ve received an unsolicited letter from Industrial Deafness Australia offering hearing tests and potential compensation for industrial deafness. Does anyone know about them and whether they are legit?

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It appears that they exist:

but in effect drumming up business in this way may not be overly ethical (like being an ambulance chaser). Can you post a copy of the letter with personal information removed to see what it says?

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I’ll second @phb’s take. A ‘legal advisor’ will explain the results of your hearing test. One might expect an audiologist to do the explaining followed up with legal advice if appropriate.

This firm will also assure you get the best hearing aids possible. It is clearly a business

We are specialised legal services provider which focuses on cases involving industrial deafness.

I am not sure ‘like’ is warranted, they appear to be selling their legal services as if they are providing a public service.

A worrisome aspect is they tout a free assessment, insurance filings, hearing aids, but neglect to indicate their fees or how they get paid.

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We have a neighbour who has been working through a compensation claim against his previous employer. Something he would not have done off his own bat, but someone contacted him (don’t know the company) with talk of big payouts.

They “got him hearing aids” something I think he was entitled to anyway as recently turning pension age, and are now looking at his other degrading senses with a view to pursuing the employer for these too.

At this stage he has not received anything but glowing reports of what type of massive payout he could get. He also has an axe to grind, having had a row with his supervisor and marching off the job, essentially resigning / being sacked, thereby not being entitled to any other payments.

Unfortunately these people with limited education and poor knowledge of law and current affairs, see news reports of big payouts and believe the hype. They also sell it as “doing something for the community” by stepping up to the plate so that it won’t happen to others.

I question the ability of a legal firm to provide unbiased health assessments. They are looking for legal business after all.

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The Ad doesn’t hide the fact that they are a ‘legal service’ provider, specialising in ‘hearing loss compensation’.
A medical report would have to be part of the claiming process.
According to the Ad: after seeing their own audiologist, a report from a specialist from the WorkSafe insurer will be arranged. If that offer is not accepted, a final assessment by an independent medical specialist can be arranged by the State Medical Panel.
It looks like a long process, which they offer for free unless monetary compensation is received.
If a fee is to be paid it will be disclosed up front, they say. I think that’s where the catch is, their charge in case of a successful claim.

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Thanks all,
Most comments share my concerns. Good to have this info.
This is the link to the flyer they mailed - https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Vd04p_bg0Xr3PS-E5ZXR5dw8NeGAYVuN/view?usp=sharing

Once again thanks for your responses

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FWIW it is a private document requiring explicit access requests rather than a public document. You might consider making it public if you wish to share it.

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Sorry, try this - https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Vd04p_bg0Xr3PS-E5ZXR5dw8NeGAYVuN/view?usp=sharing

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Ta, link works fine now. I notice compensation is referenced. In NSW the insurance pays if the claim is successful otherwise no fee, and in SA and VIC they work on an un-stated contingency fee basis if one receives compensation. They do not appear to operate in the other states and territories.

Cheers,

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Even though they have been blacked out, your personal details are still visible. If this is of concern to you, delete the document and reattach a version without the name and address section.

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Have you worked in one of the industries nominated on the letter?

If yes, do you know how they got your details. Are you a union member, part of an industry super fund, know someone who has made a workplace hearing loss claim and gave coworker details etc?

There could be a breach of your privacy if someone or and organisation has given over your personal contact details to them. It may be worth contacting them to ask how they got your details.

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My husband received one of these letters, so he went and had the hearing test, but they said his hearing wasn’t bad enough, so they wouldn’t compensate him, even though he had worked in places with very noisy machinery, for years, and he was finding it difficult to hear.

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Without mentioning who he worked for, was it a private or public organisation, or a big or small one?

I wonder if advice is based on likelihood of getting compensation if a claim is made…rather than whether hearing has been impacted?

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It was a small private company.
You could be right.

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That is the business model of legal companies who work on a contingency (percentage of awards) basis. If they are not very confident they will get adequate compensation for the customer and thus themselves they will not touch a case.

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I was more indicating whether the employer could afford to pay compensation. Spending money on legal action only for a business to be pushed into insolvency won’t give anyone a return.

Basing on pursuing cases on this basis in dubious and potentially discriminatory. Often big business/government settle claims out of court as the cost to fight (irrespective of if they win or not) exceeds the likely compensation amount. These become easy targets for making claims.

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That is but one aspect. Some who self insure and do not have deep enough pockets are recognised and whether to proceed is based on probable chances of payouts. It is not unlike most civil suits.

I did not limit ‘how’ or from where that compensation might come.

Why? If a person does not know they might get hearing aids and compensation a service has been provided. If they are entitled to compensation they are not aware of, and the legal firm helps them get it, it is a service is it not? If those afflicted by industrial hearing loss never knew, they would never receive anything would they? It is not like such programs push information to every employee who might have a case.

The ‘client’ is also free to independently proceed if they so wish.

How so? Discriminating by focusing on companies/insurers that can pay? How unlike the rest of the legal system, not counting predatory suits from a position of very deep pockets against a defendant they will happily bankrupt if they can.

Just another day in our courts…

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One of these arrived in my mailbox recently, addressed to my husband who died in 2014. I wrote that on their form and posted it back to them. I believe that the only way they could have known that he had some hearing loss was from his medical records, as I can’t recall him having any interaction with commercial providers.