If you are diagnosed with an asbestos related disease, you may be eligible for compensation or financial assistance.

Depending on your circumstances, this can happen through the courts, the benefits system or government compensation schemes. You may wish to pursue a civil claim against previous employers, where exposure to asbestos may have occurred during that employment.

Types of asbestos related illness
A number of illnesses can be caused by exposure to asbestos, when asbestos fibres are inhaled. They are:
• Mesothelioma
• Asbestos related lung cancer
• Asbestosis
• Pleural thickening
• Pleural plaques

Pleural plaques
People with pleural plaques who live in Scotland and Northern Ireland may be able to claim compensation and should take legal advice about taking this action. Please with pleural plaques who live in England are not entitled to compensation. They used to be but no longer. If in doubt take advice.

.How to make a compensation claim
• A full medical history;
• Employment history letter from HMRC;
• ELTO searches for insurers;
• Letter of Claim;
• Claim may be settled; and
• If not, issue proceedings.

Time limits
• Limitation period;
• Long delays between exposure and illness; and
• 3 years from the date when the asbestos related illness was first diagnosed.

Compensation other than court claims
People across the UK who have asbestos-related conditions can apply for Industrial injuries Disablement Benefits if they have 1 of the conditions known as a ‘prescribed disease’. These are:
• Asbestosis;
• Mesothelioma;
• Lung cancer with asbestosis;
• Lung cancer without asbestosis;
• Diffuse pleural thickening; and
• Pleural plaques.

You may also be entitled to:-
• Constant Attendance Allowance;
• Exceptionally Severe Disablement Benefit;
• Attendance allowance;
• Personal Independence Payments or PIP;
• Carers allowance; and
• A blue parking badge.

Mesothelioma
There are also government compensation schemes under the Pneumoconiosis etc (Worker’s Compensation) Act 1979 and the Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme.

You may be able to get a one-off lump sum payment if you’ve been diagnosed with the mesothelioma. You can claim for:
• Diffuse mesothelioma 2018 scheme; and
• The Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme (DMPS).

The following Government website should assist you: https://www.gov.uk/diffuse-mesothelioma-payment

Advisory bodies
In Wales, the Asbestos Awareness and Support Cymru gives support to people with asbestos-related disease. For more information visit or call their helpline on 01495 272479. Their website is https://a-a-s-c.org.uk/.

In Scotland, Clydeside Action on Asbestos campaigns for people with asbestos-related disease. They can also advise you on welfare rights and help to find you a specialist solicitor. You can call them on 0141 552 8852 or by freephone on 0800 089 1717.

Other advice agencies
Asbestos Victims Support Groups Forum is another useful place to look for benefits advice and support. It is a good idea to seek advice quickly so that you claim correctly and receive what you are entitled to.

For more information on claiming compensation for injuries sustained in a road traffic accident, or any other personal injury issue, contact Richard Blair at WBW Solicitors in Newton Abbot on 01803 546100 or email richardblair@wbw.co.uk.