Civil (personal injury) compensation
When you are told or become aware that you have an asbestos related condition, you will normally have a period of 3 years from that date in which to start court action for compensation.
If you have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related condition, a claim for compensation must be brought within 3 years of the date you first became aware that you had that condition. As the law stands in Scotland, if a claim is not brought within 3 years, you may be time-barred from bringing a claim.
Any employer who can be shown to have materially contributed to your asbestos-related condition and who acted negligently may be liable to pay damages. Even if the employer has ceased trading, action can still be taken if employers liability insurers can be traced.
Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
IIDB is a weekly/monthly benefit that you may qualify for if it is accepted that you suffer from asbestos-related lung cancer.
The UK Government currently only accepts lung cancer as asbestos-related for the purposes of claiming Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB) if you are suffering from Primary carcinoma of the lung where there is accompanying evidence of asbestosis or primary lung cancer with significant occupational exposure to asbestos within a very narrow range of occupations.
The narrow range of occupations are:
a) The manufacture of asbestos textiles; or
b) Spraying asbestos; or
c) Asbestos insulation work; or
d) Applying or removing materials containing asbestos in the course of shipbuilding.
The minimum specified periods of exposure for these occupations is either:
a) 5 years pre 1975 (in aggregate); or
b) 10 years post 1975 (in aggregate).
Pneumoconiosis etc. (Workers Compensation) Act 1979
An award of Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit may also lead to entitlement to a payment under this workers’ compensation scheme introduced in 1979.
A payment under the Pneumoconiosis etc. (Workers’ Compensation) Act 1979 may adversely affect any existing entitlement you may already have to means-tested benefit such as Universal Credit, Income Support, Pension Credit, Housing Benefit etc. We strongly advise you to contact us before applying.
If you’re the dependant (spouse, child, partner or relative) of someone who suffered from an asbestos-related disease but who has died, you may be able to make a claim for the compensation outlined above.
A dependants’ claim must be made within 12 months of the death of the sufferer.
What other benefits might I be entitled to?
Action on Asbestos has a welfare rights team able to advise on all aspects of benefits and compensation.
Our website contains a brief outline of the main benefits and compensation that an individual may be entitled to. However, the UK system of benefits and compensation is extremely complicated and constantly evolving. We would advise you, therefore, to contact us in the first instance.
Please contact us for further advice and information:
Last updated February 2020