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Ten Things You Need to Know About Asbestos Claims and Workers’ Compensation in British Columbia

  1. Asbestos Claims and Workers’ Compensation in British Columbia If you are not working, (you are retired) at the time you are diagnosed with any asbestos related disease you will receive no monthly benefit, regardless of the degree of disability you are suffering or your lack of ability to live a normal life.

  2. If you must travel to attend for medical treatment the rate paid by WorksafeBC is 44¢ per kilometer. There is a maximum meal allowance per day of $58.78 when you are required to be away from home to receive medical care.

  3. If you wish to apply for benefits through WorksafeBC your application must be submitted within one year from the date of your disease diagnosis or your claim will be automatically denied as being out of time.

  4. There is no provision for non-economic loss or “pain and suffering” through WorksafeBC. This means you will receive no lump sum compensation to use for your expenses or provide for your family.  Every other Province assigns a dollar amount for your asbestos caused disease and makes a lump sum payment to you or your estate. 

  5. The disfigurement allowance paid by WorksafeBC to those badly injured on the job are based on a reduction of earning ability. If you are not working at the time of diagnosis, there is no reduction in your ability to work and therefore no disfigurement allowance.

  6. If your spouse or child gets Mesothelioma because of take-home asbestos from your workplace they do not qualify for Workers’ Compensation benefits or assistance.

  7. The Board pays a maximum funeral expense amount of $9,268.72.

  8. Survivor Benefits are dependent upon the worker having “earnings” or “wages” at the time of their death. If the injured worker is retired these benefits are not payable.

  9. Your medical treatment, even those that would otherwise have been covered by your provincial health plan, are included as health care payments when you have an accepted WorksafeBC claim. This includes diagnostic tests and any chemotherapy and radiations treatments. WorksafeBC then attempts to recover those costs by retaining their own legal firm to make asbestos trust claims in the name of the worker or worker’s estate.  If they do recover money from the asbestos trusts, this money is not given to the family but retained by WorksafeBC to cover their expenses. 

  10. Your health care decisions are subject to the willingness of WorksafeBC to approve treatment costs. Your doctor will not be able to proceed with treatment until such time as WorksafeBC makes a decision as to the necessity of such medical care.

If you would like more information about compensation alternatives available to you, please contact us now. You are welcome to call off business hours at 1.877.430.3383 ext. 224, and the auto attendant will connect you to Anna who can answer all your questions.