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Royal Navy Deafness Claims

If you have hearing problems caused by your time in the Royal Navy, you may be able to claim compensation. Your case will be reviewed by our military specialist law firm who will be able to tell you how much you could be owed.

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Overview of Navy deafness claims

Navy deafness claims are claims made by Royal Navy personnel who have suffered hearing loss or tinnitus as a result of exposure to excessive noise during their service.

The Royal Navy is considered one of the noisiest work environments in the world due to the high levels of noise generated by machinery, explosions and gunfire. Exposure to such high levels of noise for extended periods can cause irreversible hearing damage and lead to lifelong conditions.

The criteria needed to qualify for Navy deafness claims

To qualify for a Navy deafness claim, Royal Navy personnel must have served in a role where they were regularly exposed to excessive noise levels. They must have also suffered from hearing loss or tinnitus as a direct result of their exposure to such noise levels.

What’s more, the hearing loss or tinnitus must have developed within three years of the individual leaving service or within three years of them becoming aware that their hearing loss or tinnitus was caused by their service.

Did you know?

Navy personnel and veterans are 3.5 times more likely to suffer from hearing loss than civilians.

The legal argument for a Navy deafness claim

The legal argument for Navy deafness claims is based on the fact that the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has a duty of care to protect its personnel from avoidable harm under the Control of Noise at Work Regulations Act 2005 and the Noise at Work Regulations 1989.

If you have suffered from irreversible hearing damage and can prove the MoD failed to provide adequate protection from exposure to excessive noise levels, despite being aware of the risks of hearing damage, you’ll have a case. We will match you with a specialist claim partner who will manage your case and provide you regular updates throughout the process.

Key Facts

69% of Royal Marine Commandos external link icon white have suffered from severe to permanent hearing damage.

The evidence needed to support the claim

To support a Navy deafness claim, an individual must provide medical evidence that proves their hearing loss or tinnitus is a direct result of their service. This evidence can include hearing tests, medical reports and expert witness testimony. The individual must also provide evidence of the noise levels they were exposed to during their service, which can be obtained from their service records.

As part of this evidence, you’ll need to demonstrate the level of hearing loss you have suffered. Mild hearing loss external link icon white means you can hear anywhere from 25 to 40 decibels, while moderate hearing loss is a hearing loss of 40 to 70 decibels. Severe to profound hearing loss is between 70 and 95 (or higher) decibels.

Did you know?

If someone has significant threshold shift (STS), it can reduce their ability to hear normally. In Navy personnel, this can be as high as 25%.

A guide to compensation amounts

The compensation amounts for Navy deafness claims vary depending on the severity of the hearing loss or tinnitus. The compensation is typically calculated based on a tariff system, which also takes into account the age of the individual at the time of the claim and how this hearing damage has affected their lives.

If you can argue that your hearing loss has forced you to alter your daily routine, or that you are not able to do everything you once could without support, you should receive some form of compensation. Has hearing loss caused you to take a leave of absence from work that has resulted in you missing out on pay? Can you no longer do the hobbies you previously enjoyed? If you can prove these points, you may be entitled to more compensation. However, compensation amounts tend to range from a few thousand pounds to several hundred thousand pounds.

Key Facts

300,000+ veterans in the UK external link icon white suffer from hearing loss, with male veterans more likely to experience it than female veterans.

How long do Navy deafness claims typically take?

Navy deafness claims can take several months to several years to resolve, depending on the complexity of the case and the cooperation of the MoD. The process can be prolonged by the need to obtain medical evidence, negotiate with the MoD and attend court hearings.

However, the MoD has implemented a streamlined claims process that aims to resolve most claims within nine months. The more straightforward cases are those that have all of the evidence outlined beforehand. By having all of the relevant records on hand, there are less likely to be any disputes. Gather as much ‘bulletproof evidence’ as possible in order to further your case.

The claims process

The claim process for Navy deafness claims typically involves the following steps:

Consultation with a solicitor

The first step is to consult with a solicitor who specialises in Navy deafness claims to discuss the specifics of your case.

Gathering evidence

The solicitor will then gather the medical evidence that proves your hearing loss or tinnitus is a direct result of your service. They will also obtain evidence of the noise levels you were exposed to during your Navy career.

Notification to the MoD

Next, the solicitor notifies the MoD of your intention to file a claim.


Your solicitor will negotiate with the MoD on your behalf to reach a settlement agreement.

Court proceedings

If a settlement agreement cannot be reached, the case may go to court. In this case, the solicitor will represent you in court.

Start your deafness claim today

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Our Partner's Fees Explained

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Common questions

Who can make a Navy deafness claim?

Any Royal Navy personnel who has served in a role where they were regularly exposed to excessive noise levels and have suffered from hearing loss or tinnitus as a direct result of their service can make a claim.

Can I claim for Navy hearing loss whilst still serving?

Yes, you can claim whilst still serving. Many people believe you have to be a veteran to claim for Navy hearing loss, however, that isn’t true. It doesn’t matter whether you have previously served or are actively serving, if you have suffered hearing loss or impairment due to your time as an enlisted Naval officer, you can make a claim.

For more common questions, please refer to the specific claim pages or read our general FAQs page.