Filing a Claim for Benefits

14. How do I file a claim for benefits?

A worker must file a form, known as a "C-3" Employee's Claim for Compensation, available at any Workers' Compensation Board office. The form requires the worker to provide some basic information to the Board about his or her ailment.

15. What is the time limit for filing an occupational disease claim?

A claim for disability or death must be filed with the Workers' Compensation Board within two years after being disabled, or within two years after the worker knew or should have known that the occupational disease was due to the nature of the employment, whichever is later.

For example, if a worker stopped working in 1986 because of shortness of breath but did not learn from a doctor until 1988 that the cause of the shortness of breath was an asbestos-related disease resulting from exposure on the job, the time to file a claim for benefits would not expire until 1990, two years after the worker knew that the disease was due to employment.

These time limits are different for claims filed for job-related hearing loss, and workers should consult the Board about when to file a claim for hearing loss.

16. Whom do I file a claim against if I have worked for several employers and was exposed to the same toxic substance on each job, but I do not know which job actually caused my illness?

Generally, you should file a C-3 Claim for Compensation against the last employer where you were exposed to the toxic substance. However, as a general rule, the last employer is liable only if the exposure at that job contributed to the development or progress of the occupational disease. Therefore, if you had exposure at more than one job, you should probably file a claim against each employer where you were exposed or could have been exposed to a toxic substance causing the ailment. It is best to consult your union or an attorney or a claimant's representative, an individual licensed by the Board to represent workers, in such cases.

17. Whom do I file a claim against if I was exposed to a toxic substance ten years ago on a different job from my current one and did not contract an occupational disease until recently?

If your present job does not involve exposure to the substance which caused your disease, your claim should be filed against the last employer in the job where you were exposed.

18. I retired several years ago at age 65. During the time I was employed, I was exposed to toxic substances on the job. If I should now develop an occupational disease because of that exposure, can I get workers' compensation benefits even though I am no longer working?

You are entitled to have the medical expenses for your work-related illness paid. But wage replacement benefits are usually only available if the occupational disease causes lost wages. If you retired voluntarily and are no longer earning wages, you would probably not be entitled to benefits for lost wages. You should file a claim to have your medical expenses paid.