Being diagnosed with an asbestos-related condition can take a huge toll on you and your family financially. You may be facing loss of earnings from your place of work, incurring extra travel costs to medical appointments and you may need extra care and assistance.
The good news is that you and your family may be entitled to claim certain government payments and benefits.
The system can be complicated, but we can offer practical advice about particular financial schemes and benefits, help you find out what you might be entitled to and assist you in filling out any application forms.
Lump Sum Payments
You and your family may be entitled to make a claim for a Government Lump Sum Payment. There are different schemes available including:
1. Workers’ Compensation Act 1979 (Pnueumoconiosis etc.)
If you were exposed to asbestos during your employment, you may be eligible to a lump sum payment under the Workers’ Compensation Act 1979 (PWCA) also known as Pnueumoconiosis etc.
To receive a payment, you must already receive Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB) and you must claim within 12 months of the date you were awarded IIDB.
You may also be able to claim if you are the dependent of someone who has died from an asbestos-related condition. Again, you must make a claim within 12 months of their death.
2. 2008 Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment
This scheme was specifically set up to provide financial support to people diagnosed with mesothelioma who have no known occupational exposure to asbestos.
You can make a claim for the 2008 scheme if you came into contact with asbestos:
- while you were self-employed
- from a family member (e.g. washing their work clothes)
- through the environment (e.g. living close to a factory using asbestos)
You may also make a claim if you do not know how you were exposed to asbestos.
If you are the dependent of someone with mesothelioma who has died, you may be eligible under this scheme providing there was no award paid to the deceased during their lifetime.
It is important that you claim within 12 months of a mesothelioma diagnosis or the date of death.
3. Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme 2014 (DMPS 2014)
In 2014, this payment scheme was set up to provide compensation to people diagnosed with mesothelioma who cannot trace the employer who exposed them to asbestos because they have ceased trading and their insurers cannot be identified.
It is only open to people diagnosed with mesothelioma on or after 25 July 2012. It is based on a payment tariff system which is calculated based on the age of the person with mesothelioma at the time of diagnosis. If the application is not made during the person’s lifetime, the payment is calculated on their age when they died.
You can claim for DMPS even if you have already claimed from the 2008 scheme or under the Workers’ Compensation Act 1979. If you’ve already got a payment from the 2008 scheme or the 1979 Act, it will be deducted from the amount you get from DMPS.
Unfortunately, the scheme does not benefit those with other asbestos-related diseases, such as lung cancer or asbestosis and it does not help family members exposed indirectly to asbestos (e.g. from washing a relative’s work clothes).