Compensation And Benefits

Compensation and Benefits

The path to gain compensation and benefits linked to an exposure to asbestos has been very bumpy over the years.  To understand something of the history of the compensation trail this documentary which lasts around 26 and half minutes and narrated by an American has been described as a ‘must see for anyone affected by asbestos’ – The History of Asbestos.

Exposure to asbestos fibres can lead to a number of serious diseases.  It may be possible to pursue a civil claim for damages against an employer if your exposure was in the workplace and you felt it was due to the negligence of your employer.  The Department of Works and Pensions (DWP)  also runs schemes under which you may be entitled to compensation.  The benefits area can be complicated so it is probably best if you speak to a specialist benefits adviser.

National Asbestos Forum Benefits Index

Some benefit schemes which can offer compensation for people living with a diagnosis of an asbestos- related condition, or to dependants if they have died, are:

  • Employment and Support Allowance (weekly allowance)
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Attendance Allowance (weekly allowance)
  • Carer’s Allowance
  • Bereavement Benefits
  • Funeral Expenses Payments
  • Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit – this is payable to employed earners who may have suffered disablement as a result of an accident at work or who developed a disease whilst in their place of work. The list of prescribed diseases which are relevant to those with an asbestos relate disease are:
  •  Pneumonicosis (Workers Compensation)
  •  Diffuse mesothelioma. (Govt. lump sum)
  • Lung Cancer, where there is evidence of asbestosis
  • Lung Cancer, in the absence of asbestosis
  • Diffuse pleural thickening
Some benefits will be means tested and certain benefits may affect existing benefit payments. It is advisable to have specialist advice before making your claims.
 
 Legal Time Limits For Claim Against an Employer

 It is important to make a note of the date when the diagnosis of an asbestos related disease has been made. If you intend making a claim against an employer then you have three years from that date to commence court proceedings.  If it is not done within that time frame then you may lose the right to pursue the case.

If a victim dies within 3 years of the first diagnosis or discovery of an asbestos related disease the personal representatives of the deceased will be given a further 3 year period from the date of death to commence a court action.

If the time limits are not followed then it is very rare that the court will allow discretion to over ride time limits.

Professional, legal advice should be sought very early on.

 

For Information on Benefits, Compensations and Claims do get in touch with us at AASC, email: enquiries@a-a-s-c.org.uk

Choosing the right Solicitor

A specialist firm of solicitors is a must if you are going to pursue a claim for any asbestos related disease.  It can make the difference between making a successful claim or not.  Not all solicitors have the necessary knowledge or expertise. Here at AASC  we can provide information on appropriate solicitors – do get in touch.

The right firm of solicitors:

  • Will not charge you for dealing with the claim
  • Will have valued experience and expertise
  • They will visit you at your home at your convenience if that is what you prefer.
  • Will keep you updated on the progress of the claim
  • Will thoroughly research the employment history of the person affected by the asbestos disease.

 Trade unions may also offer legal support for claims made by current members of trade unions, or if they were trade union members at the time of asbestos exposure.

Should you want more advice on how to choose a solicitor  contact us here at AASC  or the Solicitors Regulation Authority, this is a professional body which represents solicitors in England and Wales – Telephone: 0870 606 2555.