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How to Receive Worker’s Compensation as a Victim of Asbestos Exposure

This information serves as educational material for asbestos victims who seek Worker's Compensation. Environmental Litigation Group, P.C. does not provide assistance with appliying for Worker's Compensation.

While filing a claim with asbestos trust funds is a more effective way of obtaining financial compensation as a person injured by asbestos exposure, which also results in a larger amount of money, you also have the option to apply for worker’s compensation if you were exposed to asbestos on the job. However, the process is quite challenging and may result only in a modest amount of compensation. Nevertheless, when you suffer from a terrible disease such as mesothelioma, any financial resource helps, so we strongly encourage you to apply for worker’s compensation as well.

The benefits of receiving worker’s compensation include:

  • temporary or permanent disability payments
  • assistance finding another job
  • medical care

You should keep in mind that, if you suffer from asbestosis, you have a greater chance of obtaining worker’s compensation, as the disease has a shorter latency period than mesothelioma and lung cancer which resulted from occupational asbestos exposure. Because mesothelioma ensues within 20 to 50 years following asbestos exposure, you may not be eligible for applying for worker’s compensation. Furthermore, people who request worker’s compensation are most often no longer employed at the job which caused them the illness. This is one of the disadvantages of filing for worker’s compensation. As is the case of applying for compensation from asbestos trust funds, the assistance of a specialized lawyer is essential if you intend to seek worker’s compensation, as the process is challenging to complete.

Depending on the state you live in, you are required to apply for worker’s compensation within a certain time frame. Otherwise, you will no longer be eligible for this benefit. Moreover, if you file for worker’s compensation, even with the help of a knowledgeable attorney, you are not guaranteed to receive the compensation you deserve, as the process is considerably more complex than seeking money from asbestos trust funds. Nevertheless, if you are not satisfied with the outcome, you have the right to take it up with the state workers’ compensation commissioner or in a court of appeals.

Worker’s compensation became available only after 1930. Before that year, people were forced to initiate a lawsuit against the company they worked for in order to receive compensation for their personal injury caused by asbestos exposure. Nowadays, every state has a worker’s compensation system in place. It is also important to know that workers’ compensation programs are administered by state boards. The employer is responsible for submitting the claim to the local board office and to its insurer. If your application is successful, you will receive a fixed amount of money every month.

You should also keep in mind that worker’s compensation is a benefit designed to protect companies against lawsuits. For this reason, we highly recommend you to seek compensation from asbestos trust funds or to file a lawsuit against your employer if you are a victim of asbestos exposure.

Nonetheless, if you want to apply for worker’s compensation, you need to provide the following:

  • details of how you were exposed to asbestos, including the type of asbestos, where, when and for how long your exposure occurred
  • proof of a mesothelioma diagnosis and all the medical treatments you take
  • the equipment your employer offered you to protect against asbestos exposure, if applicable

You should know that if you apply for worker’s compensation, you can no longer initiate a lawsuit against the company you work for, so we advise you to think twice before making a decision.