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Missouri Workers' Compensation Law and Regulations are written in such a manner that many people with substantial hearing loss still won't receive compensation.

Missouri Workers' Compensation law does provide benefits for some people who sustain work-related hearing loss.  However, the law does not provide compensation for all people with work-related hearing loss. For instance, only speech-frequency hearing loss is compensated.  People with hearing loss in the higher-pitch ranges are not entitled to compensation.  Furthermore, the hearing loss in the speech frequency must be of a certain level before the hearing loss is compensated.  The hearing loss in the lower frequencies must average at least 26 decibels in order to be compensable.  And what is worse--for every year of age you are over the age of 40, one-half decibel is subtracted.  So, for instance, if you have an average of 30 decibels of hearing loss in the speech frequencies, you have a compensable hearing loss if you are under age 40.  However, if you are 50 years old, then because you are 10 years over the age of 40, 5 decibels (one-half per year) are deducted, resulting in only 25 decibels of loss. This is less than the minimum 26 decibels necessary for compensation, so a 50-year-old person with the same level of hearing loss as a 40-year-old person may not receive compensation.  The statutes and regulations applying to hearing loss claims are difficult to interpret, so if you think you have a significant work-related hearing loss, give us a call and we can help you through the maze of the hearing loss statute. 

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