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Asbestos Compensation – Entitlement to Benefits

Asbestos Compensation – Entitlement to Benefits

Detailed below are the main benefits you may be entitled to:

Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit

Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB) may be claimed if you are ill or disabled because of a disease caused by certain types of work.  These diseases are referred to as “prescribed diseases”.  A disease is “prescribed” in those cases where the DWP are satisfied that there is a risk of developing it arising from an individual’s occupation.

The prescribed diseases linked to exposure to asbestos are:

  • Mesothelioma
  • Primary carcinoma of the lung
  • Asbestosis
  • Diffuse pleural thickening.

In order to claim IIDB you must

  • have contracted your disease due to employment on or after 5th July 1948
  • have been an employed earner – i.e. you must have been gainfully employed in the UK and liable to pay income tax on you salary, wages or fees.

You cannot claim IIDB if :

  • your disease was not contracted due to employment
  • your disease was contracted when you were self employed
  • your disease was contracted due to employment within HM Forces
  • your disease was contracted outside of the UK (in most cases).

The amount you will be entitled to depends upon your age and the severity of your disability.  Your claim will be assessed by a DWP doctor who will assess your level of disability on a scale of 1% to 100%.  For certain conditions, in particular mesothelioma, payment is automatically made at the 100% rate from the start of your claim.

To claim for this benefit you need to apply to the Department for Work and Pensions.  An application needs to be made on Form BI 100(PN).  This is available from your local benefits office.  As part of your asbestos claim for compensation we will be able to help you in applying for this.

You should not delay in making a claim for this benefit.  It is possible to claim back-dated benefits for a period of three months only.

The Pneumoconiosis etc (Workers Compensation) Act 1979 – one off Government payment

If you have developed a dust related disease, you may be entitled to a one off lump sum payment from the Government.  This scheme is designed to help those people who are unable to bring a claim for compensation against an employer who caused the disease because the employer has ceased trading.

It is appropriate to apply for this benefit at the beginning of an asbestos compensation claim.  If insurers for you former employers are then identified, and if you can then recover compensation, the amount paid under this scheme is deducted from compensation awarded and paid back to the Government.

The asbestos related conditions you can apply for under this scheme are as follows:

  • Mesothelioma
  • Primary lung cancer
  • Diffuse Pleural Thickening
  • Asbestosis

If the sufferer has died, it is possible for their dependants to make a claim.

To claim for this payment you must also have applied for Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit. However you do not need to wait for the decision of the DWP as to your entitlement to IIDB before you can apply for compensation under this scheme.

The amount of money you may get depends on  how old you were when the disease was first diagnosed and how disabled you are. It is paid by way of a lump sum.

Macks Solicitors will be able to help you with an application for this benefit as well as advising you on a claim for asbestos compensation.

Special scheme for Mesothelioma cases

Under the 2008 Diffuse Mesothelioma Scheme a new system was introduced to make it easier for people suffering from the asbestos related disease mesothelioma to claim a lump sum payment from the Government.

Under this scheme a person bringing a claim does not have to show that the disease was caused by work.  If you have not yet received a compensation payment from an employer, a civil claim for compensation or elsewhere, you can claim a one off lump sum payment under this scheme.  The scheme is designed to help those people who might not qualify for payment under the Pneumoconiosis scheme including, for example, the following:

  • claimants who came into contact with asbestos from a relative – for example by washing their clothes
  • they were exposed to asbestos in the environment  for example, they live near a factory using asbestos
  • their exposure to asbestos was while self employed
  • their exposure cannot be specified but it occurred in the United Kingdom.

The lump sum payment depends upon the age of the sufferer at the time of diagnosis.

Macks Solicitors will be be to help you with completing an application form under this Scheme at the same time as helping you to bring a civil claim for asbestos compensation.