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Update on General Electric (GE) Peterborough claims

We heard from the GE Peterborough community that they wanted the WSIB to take a closer look at some of their claims.

With evolving scientific evidence about the link between different chemicals and certain cancers, and updated information about exposures to chemicals at that plant, it was the right time to re-examine nearly 250 claims that had previously not been allowed. We want to make sure our decisions reflect the best available scientific evidence and current knowledge of historical exposures.

In July 2018, we completed the review of all re-examined GE Peterborough claims.

If you are not sure whether you have a claim with us for a work-related illness, or to file a new claim, please call us at 1-800-387-0750 (TTY: 1-800-387-0050).

Questions and answers

1. Why did you review these GE Peterborough claims?

The Peterborough community let us know that they wanted us to re-examine these claims. With evolving scientific evidence about the link between different chemicals and certain cancers, and updated information about exposures to chemicals at that plant, it was the right time to re-examine more than 250 GE Peterborough claims that had previously not been allowed. We want to make sure our decisions reflect the best available scientific evidence and current knowledge of historical exposures.

2. What new information was used to review select GE Peterborough claims?

We looked at  claims where new information or evidence was available that was not available at the time of the original decision, including:
  • Evolution in scientific understanding published in authoritative sources that now support a previously unrecognized disease causal association.
  • New agent(s) of interest identified in a person’s employment history.
  • New information received about the level/likelihood of exposure to a previously considered agent.

3. Who reviewed the GE claims?

A dedicated review team made up of occupational disease adjudicators and occupational hygienists, with support from occupational medicine physician experts re-examined denied GE claims. We looked at each claim individually to determine if updated scientific research and/or new information about workplace exposures would change the original decision. Adjudicators are responsible for getting the information needed to confirm a person’s employment and exposure history, and for gathering all the medical reporting and other evidence that we need to make a decision on a claim. Occupational hygienists are professionals with expertise in identifying and characterizing hazardous workplace exposures. They help by providing retrospective exposure assessments. This means they consider all workplaces a person has worked at to assess the likelihood and extent of their exposure to hazardous agents. Occupational medicine physician experts look at medical and scientific studies to determine how occupational and non-occupational factors impact a person’s illness.

4. How do I know if my claim was reviewed?

We have been in contact with everyone whose claim was reviewed. You should have received a reconsideration decision letter.

5. I think I have a GE claim but did not register with the WSIB, what should I do?

If you are not sure whether you have a claim with us for a work-related illness, or to file a new claim, please call us at 1-800-387-0750.

6. How will you let me know when a decision on my claim is complete?

We will call you or your representative to let you know the decision on a claim and follow with an explanation in writing.

7. If my claim was allowed, will I be paid benefits retroactively?

 Yes. For more information please call us at 1-800-387-0750 to speak to a WSIB representative.

8. I no longer work at GE Peterborough. Can I still file a claim?

Yes, if you worked at GE Peterborough and think you may have a work-related illness, please call us at 1-800-387-0750 to file a new claim.

9. I am the next of kin of a deceased GE Peterborough employee. What will happen in their claim? Will I be eligible to claim on behalf of the estate or as a dependant?

Each circumstance is unique. For more information, please call us at 1-800-387-0750 to speak to a WSIB representative.

10. Will the announced closure of the GE Peterborough facility impact my ability to file a claim, or receive health services or compensation?

No. We will continue to accept claims and provide health services and benefits to eligible current and former employees regardless of the operating status of the plant.

11. What should I do if I disagree with a decision made in my claim?

If you disagree with a decision made in your claim, you may wish to start the appeals process. You can learn more about this on the appeals section of our website. While not required, you may seek representation through the appeals process from the Office of the Worker Adviser or through your union representative. 

12. Who should I call if I have questions or concerns?

Please call us at 1-800-387-0750 (TTY: 1-800-387-0050) and let the WSIB representative know that you have questions about GE Peterborough claims.

13. Where can I find more information?

For more information or to file a new claim, call us at 1-800-387-0750 (TTY: 1-800-387-0050).
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