Digitizing the Process for Hearing Loss Claims

A 2021 ICTA nomination

Toronto, ON (Apr. 1, 2021) – We’re always looking for ways to modernize our services and make it easier for people to work with us. Unlike most work-related injury and illness claims, noise-induced hearing loss claims are unique because many people with these claims are retired or no longer working for their injury employer(s). As a result, there were often processing delays due to missing or incomplete employer information. People also had to mail or fax in their claim forms and supporting documents, which caused further delays.

The idea to change the way we manage noise-induced hearing loss claims emerged from the WSIB’s Innovation Lab as a proof-of-concept. Our vision was to build a digital product that would reduce the time it takes to submit and adjudicate claims, and improve the experience for people with noise-induced hearing loss, our employees, and health care providers.


We used an agile product approach to deliver the product vision through incremental improvements to four key components of the injured person and adjudicator journey. Each component solves for a current problem in the lengthy adjudication process. The initial implementation of the first component and the online claim form laid the foundation for future targeted enhancements.

Product Components:

  1. Noise-induced hearing loss online claim form
  2. Noise exposure classification database
  3. Employer verification and claim attribution to a single employer
  4. Claim entitlement decision model


Giving people a self-explanatory, online option to submit a work related, noise-induced hearing loss claim allows us to gather all the information we need in one form, simplifying the process for people with claims – particularly those who may find it difficult to communicate with us by phone. Using Guidewire for this project helped us reduce the number of steps needed to process and adjudicate noise-induced hearing loss claims by allowing people to provide all information up front and attach supporting documents.

Noise-induced hearing loss online claim form features include:

  • the ability to auto-complete business addresses using Google’s application programming interfaces (APIs).
  • the ability to upload relevant files into one submission to improve the customer experience.
  • a reference code that users can use to access a form in progress.
  • a noise exposure classification database, which allows the person with injury to select their exposure type from a list to help adjudicate the claim.
  • integration to Guidewire using existing document management and manual registration processes.


The team is now focused on tracking the effectiveness of our first iteration and determining the scope for version 2.0. We are moving towards our long-term vision to leverage Guidewire connectors, intelligent hyper-automation and application programming interfaces (APIs) to generate claim numbers from the online form and bypass manual document management processes. This product-focused approach is one of the first for the WSIB and we hope to adopt the new technologies and ways of working to deliver other digital services.


This noise-induced hearing loss initiative has had a big impact on our digital transformation and claims modernization journey and the learnings we have gained will fuel further innovation for our primary business impacts highlighted below.


The noise-induced hearing loss online claim form is one way we are providing more digital services to Ontarians with workplace injuries and illnesses. We receive approximately 8,000 noise-induced hearing loss claims annually and have already received hundreds of online submissions.


The agile product approach and strategic product vision is laying the groundwork to apply this thinking across all claim management modernization and help us execute the WSIB’s digital strategy.


The implementation of our online claim form is already helping us improve adjudication efficiency by providing a faster alternative to mail and fax. The document attachment feature allows the injured person to attach all supporting proof of employment documents and audiograms, allowing our adjudicators to focus on the adjudication process rather than following up on documents.


The idea to change the way we manage noise-induced hearing loss claims emerged from the WSIB’s Innovation Lab team as a proof-of-concept, which has since been implemented. As the WSIB is a traditional organization, culture transformation is as important as the product itself. This initiative demonstrated how innovation can be successfully brought into a production solution and generates excitement for future innovation.

About WSIB

The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board is an independent trust agency that administers compensation and no-fault insurance for Ontario workplaces. We are committed to delivering what matters to the workers and employers of Ontario: fast, accessible service and fair benefits at a fair price. For more information, visit www.wsib.on.ca.

About Guidewire

Guidewire (NYSE: GWRE) is the platform P&C insurers trust to engage, innovate, and grow efficiently. ​We combine digital, core, analytics, and AI to deliver our platform as a cloud service. More than 400 insurers, from new ventures to the largest and most complex in the world, run on Guidewire.

As a partner to our customers, we continually evolve to enable their success. We are proud of our unparalleled implementation track record, with 1,000+ successful projects, supported by the largest R&D team and partner ecosystem in the industry. Our marketplace provides hundreds of applications that accelerate integration, localization, and innovation.

For more information, please visit www.guidewire.com.

Source: Workplace Safety & Insurance Board

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