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Ten Things You Need to Know About Asbestos Disease Claims and the Workers’ Compensation Board of Nova Scotia

  1. Claim FormIf the occupational disease is not diagnosed until you are retired, no monthly income benefits will be paid.
  2. Even if your spouse is financially dependent on you, no survivor pension will be paid if you die of your occupationally caused disease after your spouse is age 65.
  3. A claim for benefits made to the workers’ compensation board may be denied it if to made more that one year following diagnosis and will be denied if your application is made more that five years following diagnosis.
  4. The Permanent Impairment Benefit may be paid for a permanent loss of function. The benefit is calculated based on a percentage of disability following the guidelines of the American Medical Association. These benefits are payable between the date of diagnosis and death and if the Board has not decided before death, the benefit will not be paid as a commuted or lump sum. The Nova Scotia WCB Tribunal has found that “The payment of permanent impairment benefits is contingent upon the worker being alive.”1
  5. The current wait time (2019) for a physician to review your medical records and determine your permanent impairment rating is six months.
  6. The lump sum death benefit to provide for your family is only $15,000.
  7. A maximum of $5,000 is paid to cover funeral expenses.
  8. If you are financially responsible for a dependent child or grandchild, the monthly benefit is $196 for each minor dependent.
  9. You may elect to take action against a negligent third party, but if you have received Workers’ Compensation Benefits the Board has the first right of recovery and gets paid before you do. You must advise the Board within 180 days from your date of diagnosis if you intend to bring a claims for your disease elsewhere.
  10. The costs associated with your medical treatment must be approved by the Workers’ Compensation Board, before treatment can be started. Your doctor will have to provide medical information about you to the WCB and justify the cost of treatment recommendations. This means that decisions about your medical treatment rest with the Workers’ Compensation Board, not with you and your physician.

After reading this information, if you have been recently diagnosed and would like to discuss applying to the Asbestos Trusts of the manufacturing companies that made and distributed asbestos products that you were exposed to, contact us for a no charge consultation. If you subsequently choose to proceed with an application to the Workers’ Compensation Board of Nova Scotia, you should not need a lawyer unless benefits are denied.


1 2014 CanLII 37168 (NS WCAT)