If you have recently been diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness you will no doubt have many questions and concerns. You may be worried about the condition you are suffering from and what implications this may have. We exist to campaign for, and provide support to, you and your family. We are here to help.
Explanation by Dr Hans Hartung
For more information on the different asbestos conditions please visit our section on Asbestos-Related Disease.
Compensation & Benefits Advice Service
Our Welfare Rights Officers are here to answer any questions you may have and address any concerns. We are able to provide you with practical and emotional support. We can also advise you what benefits you are entitled to and whether you are entitled to compensation from the government. We provide specialist guidance on your right to pursue a civil/personal injury claim.
Your dedicated Welfare Rights Officer will discuss your options including benefits you may be entitled to at the time of diagnosis (whether you are in employment or not, you can still claim certain benefits.) We will also be able to advise you what benefits you may be entitled to if and when your circumstances change e.g. if you decide to give up work.
Our welfare rights team provide emotional and practical support and specialist advice on benefits & compensation. They have over 80 years of experience between them.
Your dedicated Welfare Rights Officer will be the same person who is with you throughout the whole claims process. This provides you with reassurance and consistency. It offers a personal approach, where we are able to provide both emotional and practical support alongside our expertise and experience.
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.
The Toolkit contains 5 Booklets and a DVD
- Common Investigations
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Managing Breathlessness
- Hints and Tips
- Personal Stories
If you have a disability or long-term physical or mental health condition, the DWP’s Access to Work programme can provide practical and financial support to help you overcome barriers to starting or keeping a job. Access to Work can also give practical advice and guidance to employers, to help them understand physical and mental ill-health and how they can support employees.
More information on Access to Work – GOV.UK
Support groups across Scotland provide a forum for those diagnosed with an asbestos-related condition, and their families, to meet for mutual support and to enable members to cope with problems in a positive way.
Support groups aim to reduce the isolation felt by many asbestos-related disease sufferers, bringing them together in a local venue to share their experiences, discuss their concerns and identify any unmet health-care needs.
We will be able to advise you on your legal right to make a claim against those employers who exposed you to asbestos and contributed to you developing an asbestos-related condition. 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 an employer’s liability insurers can be traced.
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.
- More information from the Office of the Public Guardian (Scotland)
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.
If someone dies without leaving a will, any assets may be distributed according to the law rather than their 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
If you have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, please contact us for further advice and information. We are here to help.
Last reviewed: February 2020.