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
The UK Government currently accepts asbestosis as one of the conditions that you can claim Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB). Each disease has an allocated Prescribed Disease (PD) or (D) number.
- D1 Pulmonary Fibrosis/Asbestosis
Assessing your claim for IIDB
Applications for Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB) for asbestosis and diffuse pleural thickening require an applicant to attend a medical which will be arranged by the Jobcentre Plus and will involve accessing your medical records in order to make a decision on your claim.
If you cannot act for yourself
If you wish to claim Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit but you are unable to act for yourself because of physical or mental incapacity, the Secretary of State can appoint someone to act on your behalf. If this happens, the person appointed is responsible for dealing with all your social security affairs, including claiming and receiving benefits. They are also responsible for notifying any changes of circumstances which may affect your benefit.
If you are able to handle your own affairs but want someone else to collect your benefit for you regularly, you may be able to make arrangements with your bank, building society or the Post Office®. Please ask them to help you with this.
If someone who was disabled because of an accident at work or a prescribed disease dies
If someone who has not claimed Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit dies, but they would have qualified for this benefit, a claim can be made on their behalf, for example by a widow or surviving civil partner.
If someone who has claimed Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit dies, any outstanding benefit can be paid to a third party, for example, an executor or next of kin.
There is a 12-month time limit from death to apply. As the application is posthumous, any award of IIDB will be restricted to the equivalent of 3 months arrears of benefit.
Pneumoconiosis etc. (Workers Compensation) Act 1979
An award of Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit for pleural thickening 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.
Compensation and Benefits Advice Service
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