Military deafness claims

Being in the armed forces can be a noisy business – whether on land, in the air or at sea. In some ways it’s unavoidable and goes with the territory, particularly if you’ve been on the front line or your role exposed you to extended periods of loud noise.

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Do you suffer from hearing loss due to military service? You may be due compensation.


However, hearing loss or tinnitus (ringing in the ears) are not inevitable consequences of military life. Like any employer, the MoD has a duty of care to safeguard you from the risk of hearing damage – for example, by providing adequate ear protection against noise from:

  • gun and artillery fire
  • mortars
  • explosions
  • pyrotechnics
  • aircraft noise
  • vehicle engine noise.

You’re not alone

An estimated 300,000* ex-armed forces personnel in the UK suffer from noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) and tinnitus. What’s more, if your hearing problems are due to long-term exposure to excessive noise while in service, you might be entitled to compensation. If you think your hearing’s suffered, you may have a case – even if you’ve previously been told you have no hearing problems or been turned down for a payment under the AFCS or War Pension schemes. Both these no-fault schemes have very strict criteria, usually resulting in smaller compensation payments.

You don’t have to suffer in silence

NIHL and tinnitus caused by military equipment can be debilitating, affecting all aspects of life – yet they are avoidable. In military circles, people have known about them for decades, but many sufferers prefer to remain silent, often out of loyalty towards their regiment or the MoD. Or perhaps they feel responsible, as it was their choice to enlist. Or maybe they don’t want to admit to suffering from hearing loss.

Get in touch

If you’ve suffered hearing damage during your time in service – past or present – our team is ready to listen. Get in touch today.

*Source: The Royal British Legion, Lost Voices’ report (2014)

Key contact

Simon Ellis is a Partner with Hugh James and has worked with the firm for more than 20 years, having trained and qualified here. Simon heads up the Military Department, advising and assisting current and former military personnel with various health conditions and injuries. He specialises in claims such as hearing loss, non-freezing cold injuries, compartment syndrome and military injury cases. He is often asked to advise on more unusual claims in the military context.

View team


I cannot thank you enough, from the initial contact on the telephone. Your professionalism, knowledge and service was outstanding. Keeping me updated on the process throughout as to what was required to achieve the outcome for my case. I am more than happy with everything that you did from start to finish and would have no problem recommending your services to my friends and colleagues. Thank you again for all your hard work.

Robert Gregson


I'm very happy with my settlement and my solicitor Paul Spiteri.

Mr V


I found the whole process very informative and all information was passed on to me in a very professional manner. I would and have already recommended Hugh James to others.

Mr O


Simon and his team have been excellent throughout the lengthy process. From start to finish, they have displayed the utmost professionalism and excellent levels of communication. I cannot recommend Simon and the team highly enough!

Alastair Inglis


Throughout this process, Paul (Spiteri) has help me through it. He has been helpful and informed me of the pitfalls of this argument. If I need a solicitor in the future Hugh James will be my first point of contact.

Ronald Gardener


Thank you, Paul Spiteri and Hugh James Solicitors for making a successful claim for compensation against the MOD for hearing damage I sustained when I served with the Territorial Army.

Allan Ormesher


Great professional service received, informative along the way and kept up to date. I was very pleased with the outcome and would highly recommend.

Mr C | Military Deafness client


I can confirm that the level of service that I have been given by Paul Spiteri at Hugh James has been both professional and exceptional. The quantity of communication from Paul and his team has been outstanding including the support and advice that I have been given. I would definitely recommend Hugh James to my friends and relatives.

Mr T


Firstly, I would like to thank the whole team for all their hard work. This was not an easy time for me at times diving into my past, but your team were very supportive and I would wholeheartedly recommend your service. Mr Spiteri has kept me updated all along and he left no stone unturned. Thank you.

Mark John Adams


I was guided through each stage of progression throughout my case. I felt supported throughout. If ever I wanted an update on how the case was progressing I only needed to call, send a text message leave a message on an answer machine or email. . . It goes without saying; absolutely yes I most certainly do highly recommend the services of Hugh James Solicitors.

John Cairns


Partner Simon Ellis explains the military deafness claims process

Your questions answered

Where do you stand?


Unknown to many, Crown Immunity (which protects the MoD from civil or criminal prosecution) was lifted in 1987. This means you have every right to make a claim – even if you’ve previously been turned down through the no-fault and very strict Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) or War Pension Scheme.

How to make a claim? - Help is at hand


Whether you’re a veteran or still serving, our highly experienced Military Services team will advise you for free on whether you have a civil claim for compensation. If we think you have a strong case, we’ll represent you on a no-win, no-fee basis. Plus, you can bring a civil claim at the same time as an AFCS or War Pension claim.

The Royal British Legion and Veterans Agency can help you apply for the AFCS or War Pension Scheme, or we can if you prefer. Either way, we always aim to achieve the best outcome for you, and to make the process as straightforward and simple as possible.

Can I do this on my own?


While it is possible to represent yourself, engaging the services of highly specialised military claims solicitors will help you to successfully navigate the civilian courts. This is especially important when making a claim against an organisation like the MoD. Choosing a firm of solicitors with a proven track record in making successful military deafness cases will give you the confidence you need to know you have the best chance possible of achieving a positive outcome. 

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