Information for those diagnosed with an asbestos related disease


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 are here to help.

Asbestos Related Conditions

Explanation by Dr Hans Hartung

Our welfare rights officers are here to help you with information about your condition and advice on financial help you may be entitled to. We provide advice on financial help – benefits and compensation you are able to claim (whether you are currently in employment or not you are still entitled to certain benefits).  If you are currently in employment, you will want to know what your rights at work are and you will also want to how to best to manage the symptoms of your condition.  CAA exist to campaign for, and provide support to, you and your family.

For more information on the different asbestos  conditions please visit our section on Asbestos Related Disease.


Self-management Toolkit:

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

More information about the Self-management Toolkit


Your Rights at Work


It is unlawful for an employer to dismiss you on the grounds of chronic illness or because you need regular treatment. Under the Equality Act 2010, your employer must make reasonable changes to your workspace and working conditions in order to help you do your job.  Some conditions, from the point of first diagnosis, automatically count as disabilities for the purposes of the Equality Act 2010 – this includes cancer.


If you suffer from a long-term asbestos related condition, are suffering or have suffered from cancer in the past, and decide to continue working, you have legal rights which require your employer to treat you fairly. 

They cannot discriminate against you because of your condition and must make reasonable changes to your workspace and conditions to help you continue doing your job.


Reasonable adjustments may include:

  • adjustments to the workplace to improve access or layout;
  • giving some of the disabled person’s duties to another person, eg employing a temp;
  • transferring the disabled person to fill a vacancy;
  • changing the working hours, eg flexi-time, job-share, starting later or finishing earlier;
  • time off, eg for treatment, assessment, rehabilitation;
  • training for disabled workers and their colleagues;
  • getting new or adapting existing equipment, eg chairs, desks, computers, vehicles;
  • modifying instructions or procedures, eg by providing written material in bigger text or in Braille;
  • improving communication, eg providing a reader or interpreter, having visual as well as audible alarms;
  • providing alternative work (this should usually be a last resort).


You can gain more information about your rights at work from GOV.UK.

You can also access further information on ‘The law’ from the Health & Safety Executive


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


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.


Financial help

Government (State) Benefits & Compensation



On first contact with CAA we will take some details from you and pass them on to one of our welfare rights officers. They will then contact you to answer any questions you may have and address any concerns.

Our welfare rights officers will also be able to advise you of which benefits you are entitled to and whether you are entitled to compensation from the government. Our welfare rights team will identify your options, in terms of 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 which benefits you may be entitled to if and when your circumstances change e.g. if you decide to give up work.


Civil Compensation


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.



Disabled Parking – Blue Badge Scheme


The blue badge scheme of parking concessions is designed to help people with severe mobility problems, those who are registered blind and people who have severe restrictions in both arms by allowing them to park close to places they need to visit e.g hospital.

There are different rules which apply depending on where you live in the UK.  Essentially, if you are in receipt of the High Rate Mobility component of Disability Living Allowance or the Enhanced Mobility Component of Personal Independence Payment; have a substantial disability which causes inability to walk or very considerable difficulty in walking; are unable to walk or virtually unable to walk,  you should qualify.



You can contact your local council and ask them to send you a blue badge application form or you can find out if you’re eligible and apply online via DirectScot: Blue Badge Scheme


eng & wales

England or Wales

You can contact your local council and ask them to send you a blue badge application form or you can find out if you’re eligible and apply online via GOV.UK: Blue Badge Scheme


Last reviewed: April 2019

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.