Work-Related Mesothelioma: Getting Help from WSIB
In Canada, there are about 450 cases of mesothelioma every year. Exposure to asbestos is the most common cause of mesothelioma.
Historically, asbestos and products containing asbestos were widely used across many industries. Many people were exposed to asbestos at work in the past and some continue to have potential for exposure at work to this day (e.g., during removal of historically applied asbestos-containing mechanical insulation).
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, it may be work-related if you were exposed to asbestos in the course of your employment. Mesothelioma is a long-latency disease, meaning that it is typically diagnosed many years after first exposure to asbestos. Many individuals with mesothelioma who were exposed to asbestos at work are diagnosed after their retirement.
Reporting Your Illness to the WSIB
The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) is an investigative body and is responsible for collecting relevant information to evaluate your claim.
If you think you may have been exposed to asbestos in your workplace, and your workplace was covered by the WSIB during that time, then you should submit a claim to WSIB.
You can submit a WSIB claim, even if you are no longer employed, by:
- completing the Worker’s Report of Injury/Disease (Form 6), or
- calling the WSIB at 1-800-387-0750, or
- asking your health care provider to fill out a Health Professional’s Report (Form 8).
If you have any reason to believe that you may have been exposed to asbestos at work, but you are not sure, you should still submit a claim to WSIB.
Read more about making a claim for occupational diseases like mesothelioma on the WSIB website.
Benefits of Reporting Your Illness to the WSIB
If your claim is accepted you may receive benefits, which may include:
- money to make up for your loss of income
- health care costs such as homecare, assistive devices, and medication costs
- counselling for you and your family about end of life
In the event of your passing, your survivors (e.g., spouse, dependents), may be entitled to benefits, which can include:
- survivor payments (lump sum and monthly benefits)
- funeral and transportation costs
- support for your spouse to return to work if they choose
- Ontario Ministry of Labour Training and Skills Development
- Workplace Safety and Insurance Board
- Ontario Office of the Worker Advisor