What should I do if asbestos has affected me?
If you suffer from a disease caused from asbestos, you may be eligible for a WorkCover claim. Read on to find out more about what asbestos is, if you may be affected and how you can submit a comprehensive claim to successfully gain financial compensation.
What is asbestos?
During the late 1980’s a mineral called asbestos was used in building materials. This mineral compound was excellent in resisting heat and was able to prevent corrosion to buildings. Whilst a versatile and cost efficient exercise, asbestos was also found to later be a dangerous material due to its small fibers which can become airborne and once breathed in, cause serious health issues.
These health issues are time dependent on when the person becomes exposed to the substance, and can get worse over many years after exposure. Asbestos-related diseases usually can take at least 10 years after exposure, and as long as 50 years later to present.
Asbestos related illnesses and injuries
Some common asbestos related illness and injuries can include:
- Asbestosis, which is scarring on your lung tissue,
- mesothelioma, a type of cancerous tumor which develops in intestine or lungs (this disease is high risk and takes 20-50 years to appear, with the peak risk around 30-35 years after exposure),
- pleural plaques which is thickening of the membranes around the lung and;
- cancer in the lung, larynx or ovaries.
Usually the most common symptom of disease relating to asbestos is difficulty breathing and scarring of the lung. Both of these can be detected with an x-ray.
Claiming WorkCover for asbestos related diseases
Asbestos related injuries make it impossible to work due to medical appointments, recovery or rehabilitation appointments. Not being able to attend work and have a main source of income is a major stress when trying to recover and get better. WorkCover is a legal requirement for employers to have, which protects them with insurance in case an employee is affected at work or travelling to work by injury or work-related illness, like the above asbestos-related illnesses.
If your WorkCover claim is accepted, you will be able to be compensated for;
- Income and loss of wages
- Medical expenses
- Rehabilitation treatments
- Equipment services
- Appointment travel expenses
- Benefits for permanent impairments
- Support when returning to work, in the instance of recovery
If you believe your respiratory symptoms are a work-related asbestos disease, you will be able to look into claiming for WorkCover.
For more information on asbestos, and asbestos-related diseases, please visit the Australian Government website. Get in touch today to find out more about your workers rights and how to get a successful workers compensation rights claim.