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Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB)

If you have hearing loss because you were exposed to noise at work, or because you had an accident at work, you might be able to get Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB).

What Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit is

Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB) is a benefit for people who have become disabled or ill as a result of their job, or an approved employment training scheme or course.

The benefit is provided by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in England, Scotland and Wales, and the Department for Communities in Northern Ireland.

The amount of benefit you might get will depend on the extent of your disablement, which will be assessed by a medical advisor. For a guide to how much you might get each week, see GOV.UK

The benefit is non-contributory, which means it doesn’t matter how many national insurance contributions you’ve made. It’s also not means-tested, which means you can claim it regardless of any income or savings you have.

You can get IIDB even if you’re still working.

Who can claim

You may be able to get IIDB if you have hearing loss because:

  • you were exposed to noise at work over a period of time – this is called occupational deafness, or
  • you had an accident at work or while on an approved training scheme or course.

Occupational deafness

Occupational deafness is classified as a prescribed industrial disease. It means hearing loss caused by exposure to noise in a job that is officially accepted as potentially causing deafness. 

These jobs are called ‘listed occupations’. To check if your job is a listed occupation, visit GOV.UK

If you are claiming IIDB for occupational deafness, you will be invited to have a hearing test to see if you have an average hearing loss of at least 50 decibels in both ears due to damage to the inner ear. In at least one ear this damage must be caused by noise at work. 

If you meet this criteria, you will then have a medical examination carried out by one or two doctors who are specially trained in industrial injuries disablement matters.

The doctor will advise on whether your hearing loss is a prescribed disease, and if so the level of your disablement and how long it is expected to last.

The doctor will send a written report to the decision-maker based upon the examination and any other medical evidence.

Hearing loss caused by an industrial accident

You may be able to claim IIDB for hearing loss caused by an industrial accident if:

  • you were employed when the accident or event happened
  • you were on an approved employment training scheme or course when the accident or event happened
  • the work accident or event that caused your illness or disability happened in the UK.

Unlike occupational deafness, you don’t need to have worked in a specified job to qualify under the rules for industrial accidents.

You will need to have a medical examination to assess whether or not your hearing loss has been caused by an industrial accident, and the level of your disablement.

How to claim

If you live in England, Scotland or Wales

You can download a claim form at GOV.UK or ask for a claim form in the post by contacting the Barnsley Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB) Centre:

0800 121 8379
0800 169 0314
Relay UK
18001 then 0800 121 8379

Lines are open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm

If you live in Northern Ireland

You can download a claim form from nidirect.gov.uk or ask for a claim form in the post by contacting the Industrial Injuries Branch of the Department for Communities or any Jobs and Benefits office.

If you have accessibility needs

By law, government departments must make reasonable adjustments for disabled people and their representatives, to allow them to have equal access to their services and to claim benefits.

This means that if part of the claims process is not accessible for you, you can ask for changes to be made – for example, a different way to apply for the benefit.

Find out more about how to get help with benefits if you have accessibility needs (GOV.UK)

How IIDB affects other benefits

Benefits for industrial injuries may affect other benefits you get.

You may also qualify for other benefits if you are disabled from disease or hearing loss as a result of work, but they may reduce the amount of income-related benefits you get. Tell your benefits office if you get IIDB and related benefits.

To find out more about IIDB, including how it affects other benefits and how to challenge a decision:

  • if you live in England, Scotland or Wales, visit GOV.UK
  • if you live in Northern Ireland, visit nidirect.gov.uk

If you need help with benefits

Find out what benefits you’re entitled to

To find out which benefits you can claim, use the online Turn2us benefits calculator.

Get support in British Sign Language (BSL)

To get benefits advice or support in British Sign Language (BSL), contact the deafPLUS Advice Line They also have an online service to help you find local benefits advisors.

Get in touch

We’re unable to provide benefits advice at RNID, but we’ll let you know where to get the information and support you need. Contact us

Page last updated: 8 March 2024

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