49-bb. Waiting period; date of disablement; payment of compensation. Notwithstanding any other inconsistent provisions of this chapter, compensation for occupational loss of hearing shall become due and payable at the employee's choice three months after (1) removal from exposure to harmful noise in employment (removal from exposure to harmful noise in employment for the three month waiting period may be achieved by use of effective ear protection devices provided at the expense of the employer) or (2) separation from work for the last employer in whose employment the employee was at anytime during such employment exposed to harmful noise. The last day of such period of removal from such exposure or of separation from such work shall be the date of disablement. Such disablement shall be treated as the happening of an accident within the meaning of this chapter and the procedure and practice provided in the chapter shall apply to all proceedings as set forth in this article except where specifically otherwise provided herein. A claim for loss of hearing under this article shall not be barred by the failure of the employee or the employee's dependents to file a claim within the two year period prescribed by section twenty-eight of this chapter, provided such claim shall be filed after such two year period within ninety days after knowledge that the loss of hearing is or was due to the nature of the employment. An employee whose disablement and knowledge of disablement occurred prior to October first, nineteen hundred eighty shall have six months from such date to file a claim. The former average wage on which the compensation rate payable shall be based shall be determined, as provided in sections fourteen and fourteen-a of this chapter, by the wages earned by the employee during the year prior to the employee's last day of work in the last employment in which the employee was exposed to harmful noise.
Last modified: February 3, 2019