- About CAA
- Asbestos Related Disease
- What Is Asbestos?
- What is Mesothelioma?
- Treatment of Mesothelioma
- What is Asbestosis?
- What is Pleural Plaque, Pleural Thickening & Benign Pleural Disease?
- What is Asbestos-related Lung Cancer?
- Information for Those Diagnosed
- Information for Families
- Information for the Medical Profession
- Self-management Toolkit
- Managing Your Asbestos Related Condition – Video
- Sign our petition: Remove Asbestos from Scottish Schools
- My wife Sandra – The story of a schoolgirl, wife and mother who died from asbestos related cancer aged just 52
- Asbestos Management in Schools
- Compensation & Benefits
- Mesothelioma Compensation
- Asbestos- related Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit & State (government) Compensation
- Other State (government) Benefits
- The Pneumoconiosis etc. (Workers Compensation) Act 1979
- Diffuse Mesothelioma Scheme 2008
- Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme (DMPS) 2014
- Civil Compensation
- Pleural Plaques Compensation
- Armed Services Compensation
- Expatriates & Asbestos – Related Benefits & Compensation
- Power of Attorney, Appointees & Representatives
- Procurator Fiscal & Coroner – Asbestos related deaths
- Wills, Probate and Inheritance
- Help Us
- Support Us / Donate
- Donate with a Fundraising Event
- Make a one off Donation in Memory
- Create a page in Memory of a Loved One
- Donate by Cash, Cheque, or Card
- Donate Regularly/Direct Debit
- Donate by Text Message
- Donate by Legacy/Leave a Gift in your Will
- Donate by Payroll
- Gift Aid Declaration, Sponsorship & Standing Order Forms
- Membership of CAA
Information for families
If your partner or a family member is diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease it can be difficult for them to cope with, but it can also have a significant effect on your life too.
Although most asbestos-related illnesses are long term conditions, the impact it can have on family finances can be immediate.
If your partner or family member’s health is particularly badly affected by an asbestos-related illness, they may find that they have to give up work. In this situation, you may also decide to give up work to in order to care for them. That is why CAA’s welfare rights service is available not only to those diagnosed with an asbestos-related condition but also to partners, families & carers.
The last thing that you need at a stressful time is to try and navigate your way through the maze of state benefits. Our welfare rights team will not only identify your options, in terms of benefits you may be entitled to at the time of diagnosis of a partner or family member, but also what benefits you may be entitled to if and when your circumstances change e.g. you decide to give up work to care for a partner or family member.
Living with an asbestos-related disease
CAA, with funding from Alliance Scotland, has produced a self-management Toolkit for those diagnosed with an asbestos-related condition. The Toolkit aims to address any concerns that individuals may experience following a diagnosis of an asbestos-related condition. This offers a valuable resource for individuals, partners and carers.
The Toolkit contains 5 Booklets and a DVD
- Common Investigations
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Managing Breathlessness
- Hints and Tips
- Personal Stories
As a carer or family member involved in looking after someone who is ill, it is important that you also remember to take care of yourself.
Our support groups are open to individuals with an asbestos condition and their carer or family member. Support groups offer mutual support and enable members to cope with problems in a positive way, reducing the isolation felt by many asbestos-related disease sufferers and their families/carers.
There are many aspects of being a carer. All of which require choices to be made.
With asbestos-related conditions, as well as the obvious medical implications, there are often legal implications to contemplate. The majority of those who contract an asbestos-related condition do so as a direct result of their employer’s negligence. This often necessitates the involvement of personal injury solicitors to advise individuals and families of the possibility that they may be entitled to compensation.
Unfortunately, for those who suffer from terminal asbestos-related conditions, such as mesothelioma or lung cancer, there are other legal considerations which have to be addressed such as making a will or whether a claim for compensation can be made after death. On some occasions, family members can become more distressed after a loved one dies as they are often unaware that the police, Procurator Fiscal (Scotland) or Coroner (England & Wales) may become involved to establish whether a post-mortem is necessary.
Our online information explaining the role of the Procurator Fiscal & Coroner is for families who may find themselves in this situation. Our welfare rights officers are also available to bereaved family members to guide you through this strenuous period. We will answer any questions you may have or simply be a listening ear at the most difficult of times.
Making a will
By making a will your partner/family member can decide what happens to property and possessions after death. Although you do not have to make one by law, it is the best way to make sure an estate is passed on to family and friends exactly as your partner or family member wishes.
Why it’s important to make a will
A will sets out who is to benefit from property and possessions (estate) after death. There are many good reasons to make a will:
• you can decide how your assets are shared – if you don’t have a will, the law says who gets what
• if you’re an unmarried couple (whether or not it’s a same-sex relationship), you can make sure your partner is provided for (if you’re the partner of the person but weren’t their husband, wife or civil partner when they died, you’re also not automatically entitled to any of your partner’s estate)
• if you’re divorced, you can decide whether to leave anything to your former partner
• you can make sure you don’t pay more Inheritance Tax than necessary
• If you die and have an outstanding claim for government compensation, it helps make sure the compensation due to your dependants can be distributed correctly and without any unnecessary delays or paperwork
More information on making a will from GOV.UK (United Kingdom)
Power of Attorney
A lasting power of attorney (LPA) is a legal document that lets you (the ‘donor’) appoint one or more people (known as ‘attorneys’) to help you make decisions or make decisions on your behalf.
This gives you more control over what happens to you if, for example, you have an accident or an illness and can’t make decisions at the time they need to be made (you ‘lack mental capacity’).
You must be 18 or over and have mental capacity – the ability to make your own decisions – when you make your LPA.
There are 2 types of LPA:
- health and welfare
- property and financial affairs
You can choose to make one type or both.
Power of Attorney: Scotland
A power of attorney (PoA) is a written document that gives someone else legal authority to make decisions on your behalf. Anyone over 16 can make a PoA and it lasts indefinitely unless you decide to terminate it. The law says that someone who is currently declared as bankrupt can make a PoA to deal with their personal welfare decision making but not about their financial and property affairs.
Having a PoA lets you plan what you want another person to do for you in the future, should you become incapable of making decisions about your own affairs.
When someone close to you dies, there are of course many decisions and arrangements to be made.
There is information available which offers practical advice about what to do after a death, including information regarding the role of the Procurator Fiscal or Coroner, how to register a death and how to arrange a funeral.
The Scottish Government booklet ‘What to do after a death in Scotland’ (11th Edition, 2013 .pdf) offers practical advice at a time of bereavement.
GOV.UK guidance : https://www.gov.uk/after-a-death/overview
Bereavement & Benefits
There are a number of benefits/payments which may be available if you have lost someone close to you. This could be financial assistance to help with the costs of a funeral for a loved one or additional benefits for a widow or widower.
The link below takes you through the help which may be available to you through the welfare system. As always, however, our welfare rights team are available to you to answer your questions and assist with your applications for benefit.
Last reviewed March 2018
Compensation and Benefits