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Mesothelioma Workers’ Compensation

You may be able to get workers’ compensation for mesothelioma if you were exposed to asbestos on the job and later developed this cancer. Workers’ compensation can possibly be used to cover some of your expenses, but it generally awards less money than a legal claim. Learn more about potential payout amounts and how Mesothelioma Hope can help you explore other financial options.

Fact-Checked and Updated by: Laura Wright

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What Is Workers’ Compensation?

Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that pays out financial aid to employees who suffer a job-related illness or injury.

Workers’ compensation can also provide:

  • Death benefits if the worker dies from their injury or illness
  • Health care
  • Vocational rehabilitation

Patients diagnosed with mesothelioma may be eligible for workers’ compensation if they came into contact with asbestos in the workplace. Workers’ compensation for mesothelioma is also called asbestos workers’ compensation.

Compensation for Asbestos-Related Diseases

Asbestos exposure can lead to life-altering illnesses including mesothelioma, asbestosis, and asbestos lung cancer.

Today, asbestos is well recognized as a health hazard by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). However, many companies and manufacturers used asbestos in their products from the 1930s to the 1980s despite being aware of the dangers to workers and families.

This means you could be owed workers’ compensation if you developed an illness from occupational asbestos exposure. But, other forms of compensation such as private lawsuits and asbestos trust fund claims may allow you to receive much higher payouts.

Get a free consultation to learn whether you or a loved one can receive financial assistance for an asbestos-related illness.

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Shara Fisher
Shara Fisher Senior Paralegal
17+ years providing legal help to mesothelioma victims

Eligibility for Asbestos Workers’ Compensation

You may be able to receive workers’ compensation for mesothelioma if:

  • You’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease.
  • Your illness was caused by asbestos exposure.
  • You can prove you experienced asbestos exposure at work.

You may need to meet additional mesothelioma workers’ compensation requirements if you’re a federal employee. An asbestos lawyer can explain the requirements for your particular case and help ensure your workers’ comp claim is successful.

Time Limits on Mesothelioma Workers’ Compensation Claims

Each state has a time limit for filing mesothelioma workers’ compensation claims, also known as a statute of limitations.

Most statutes of limitations last 1 to 3 years after your mesothelioma diagnosis. If you miss this time frame, you may lose the ability to claim workers’ compensation for mesothelioma.

Sadly, because it can take 10-50 years for symptoms of mesothelioma to appear, many victims may be retired or working for a different employer by the time they’re diagnosed, which means they can’t get workers’ compensation benefits.

On the other hand, statutes of limitations for mesothelioma claims start from the date of your diagnosis, which allows patients more time to pursue compensation. This is why most mesothelioma victims choose to file lawsuits rather than workers’ comp claims.

Mesothelioma Workers’ Compensation Claim Payouts

How much money you receive from a mesothelioma workers’ compensation claim depends on your employer, location, and other factors.

According to the National Safety Council (NSC), the average workers’ compensation payout was $41,757 for all claims filed in 2020 and 2021.

In many cases, however, asbestos victims can receive more than $1 million from asbestos trust funds and lawsuits. You can speak to an asbestos lawyer to learn more about the differences between lawsuit compensation and workers’ compensation for mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma Hope can connect you with top asbestos lawyers in your area. Contact us today to get started.

Other Types of Mesothelioma Compensation

Workers’ compensation isn’t the only type of compensation for asbestos victims. Learn more about other types of financial compensation below.


A mesothelioma lawsuit allows you to sue the company or companies responsible for exposing you to asbestos. In this case, these are the manufacturers that supplied the asbestos-containing products that caused your illness.

Depending on the facts of your case, you and your family members can recover:

  • Economic damages such as medical bills, lost wages, and funeral costs (if filing a wrongful death claim)
  • Non-economic damages such as pain and suffering and loss of consortium
  • Punitive damages if the asbestos manufacturer acted recklessly or maliciously
Did You Know?

The average mesothelioma settlement is $1 million to $1.4 million, according to Mealey’s® Litigation Report: Asbestos.

This is much higher than the average workers’ compensation payout, which was just $41,353 between 2020 and 2021.

Use our Free Attorney Checklist to find a top mesothelioma lawyer to help with your case.

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Asbestos Trust Funds

In the 1980s, manufacturers that declared bankruptcy established asbestos trust funds to compensate current and future victims for asbestos exposure.

Like lawsuits, asbestos trust funds often pay more than mesothelioma workers’ compensation, with an average of $400,000 received from trust fund claims. Victims of asbestos exposure can usually file claims with multiple asbestos trusts.

There’s over $30 billion available in asbestos trust funds today. See if you can access a portion of this compensation now.

Veterans Benefits

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has money set aside to compensate veterans with mesothelioma as well as their caregivers and surviving family members.

If you were exposed to asbestos while serving in the military and later developed mesothelioma, you may be able to receive VA disability benefits totaling nearly $4,000 a month.

How to File for Workers’ Compensation for Mesothelioma

Learn more about the steps to get workers’ compensation for mesothelioma below.

1. Report the Illness Asbestos Exposure to Your Employer

First, tell your employer about the asbestos exposure. Be as specific as possible, telling them where you encountered asbestos and approximately how long you were exposed.

Remember to report asbestos exposure as soon as possible. Most states have deadlines for reporting injuries. For instance, New York requires workers to notify their employer about an asbestos injury within 30 days, while other states give employees at least 1 year to report an injury.

2. Employer Gives You a Claim to File

Your employer will then give you a form to file. You will have to note which asbestos-related disease you have, along with where, when, and how the asbestos exposure happened.

3. File Your Workers’ Compensation Claim

Once you’re done filling out the claim, your employer will file it with their insurance company.

If the claim is approved, you will receive a payment offer, which may cover the costs of:

  • Lost wages
  • Medical bills
  • Other expenses

However, your claim may be denied if you were unable to prove your asbestos exposure took place within the time limit for workers’ compensation filings.

Learn more about filing a claim and pursuing other forms of financial aid for asbestos exposure with a free legal consultation.

Get a Free Mesothelioma Case Review
  • Over $30 billion available
  • No cost to file a claim
  • Avoid going to court

Get a Free Case Review

Shara Fisher
Shara Fisher Senior Paralegal
17+ years providing legal help to mesothelioma victims

Filing for Mesothelioma Workers’ Compensation After Death

If someone you love died from an illness caused by occupational asbestos exposure, you may be able to receive workers’ compensation for mesothelioma.

Workers’ compensation after death can help you with:

  • Medical expenses incurred before your loved one’s death
  • Loss of the deceased’s income
  • Burial fees and funeral expenses

Children of a deceased mesothelioma victim may also receive financial help if they are under the age of 18. Adult children who are attending college may have a longer eligibility period.

Talk to an attorney to see if workers’ compensation is a good option for you and your family. Keep in mind that you may qualify to file mesothelioma wrongful death lawsuits or trust fund claims, which can award much more compensation than a workers’ compensation claim.

Learn More About Your Compensation Options

Pursuing compensation for asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma can be time-consuming, especially if you’re undergoing chemotherapy, surgery, and other life-altering treatments.

Let Mesothelioma Hope help you find the best options for financial aid so you can focus on your health. We’ve spent the last 20+ years connecting families to top lawyers, financial assistance, and veterans benefits.

Call us now at (866) 608-8933 to learn more about how we can help you.

Mesothelioma Workers’ Compensation FAQs

Can you get workers’ compensation for asbestos exposure?

It may be possible to get workers’ compensation in some cases if on-the-job asbestos exposure caused you to develop mesothelioma or another disease.

However, it’s often in your best interest to file mesothelioma lawsuits, asbestos trust fund claims, and/or VA benefits claims instead. These claims will typically pay out much more than a workers’ compensation claim — and no action is taken against your former employers.

Talk to an asbestos attorney to learn more about whether you can get workers’ compensation. Your lawyer can also explain other types of mesothelioma claims that may be more beneficial.

How much compensation do you get for mesothelioma from workers comp?

The exact payout from a mesothelioma workers’ compensation claim depends on your location, workplace, industry, and other factors.

According to the National Safety Council, the average payout was $41,757 for all workers’ compensation claims filed in 2020 and 2021.

Keep in mind that other options like mesothelioma lawsuits and asbestos trust fund claims may award you with much more compensation. For example, mesothelioma lawsuits pay out millions of dollars in many cases.

Is it better to get workers’ compensation or file a mesothelioma lawsuit?

It’s almost always better to file a mesothelioma lawsuit claim than a workers’ compensation claim. Lawsuits can award significantly higher payouts than workers’ compensation claims.

The average mesothelioma settlement is between $1 million and $1.4 million, and the average mesothelioma trial verdict ranges from $5 million to $11.4 million.

Further, you will not sue your former employers or the U.S. military through a lawsuit. Instead, your case will be filed against manufacturers of asbestos-containing products, which hid the risks from you and the companies you worked for.

Laura WrightWritten by:

Lead Editor

Laura Wright is a journalist and content strategist with more than 15 years of professional experience. She attended college at the University of Florida, graduating magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 2008. Her writing has been featured in The Gainesville Sun and other regional publications throughout Florida.

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  1. National Cancer Institute. (2021, November 29). Asbestos Exposure and Cancer Risk. Retrieved May 7, 2024, from
  2. National Safety Council. (2023). Workers’ Compensation Costs. Retrieved May 7, 2024, from
  3. New York State. (n.d.). What is Workers’ Compensation? Retrieved May 7, 2024, from
  4. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. (n.d.). Asbestos. Retrieved May 7, 2024, from
  5. The New York State Senate. (2014, September 22). Legislation. Retrieved May 7, 2024, from
  6. U.S. Department of Labor. (n.d.). Federal Employees’ Compensation Act — Frequently Asked Questions. Retrieved May 7, 2024, from
  7. U.S. Department of Labor. Workers’ Compensation. Retrieved May 7, 2024, from
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