Posted: 15 April, 2014 at 11:44 am
A payment scheme to compensate sufferers of mesothelioma is now open.
Mesothelioma is a form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos and the Mesothelioma Act 2014 set up a payment scheme for those unable to trace their employer or employer’s insurer.
During the passage of the Bill, Dearne MP John Healey urged the Government to make the scheme “simple, smooth, speedy and more generous.”
Thanks to Labour-led Parliamentary pressure, the Government increased compensation levels.
The Minister for Disabled People, Mike Penning MP, has now confirmed to Mr Healey that the scheme is operational and eligible applicants will receive an average payment of £123,000, before benefit recovery, and £7,000 towards legal costs.
Mr Healey said: “This is a disease that is closely linked to construction and heavy industry in areas like ours, and victims and their families should be fairly and rapidly compensated.
“It is a dreadful, crippling disease which is devastating for victims and their loved ones.
“I’ve heard it described by a widow in South Yorkshire as watching her husband ‘die a little bit more each day’.
“It’s a disease that rears its head only many years after any exposure to asbestos but then it inflicts great pain and kills quickly, with sufferers surviving only nine months on average after diagnosis.
“Insurers have long made profits on the untraced insurance they sold, and more profited again from paying no compensation in the past. It is high time for almost 6,000 mesothelioma sufferers who’ve been exposed to asbestos to receive justice.”
The Mesothelioma Bill originated from a consultation launched by Labour in February 2010 and follows a long history of Labour interventions to secure justice for mesothelioma sufferers.
The Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme will compensate people with diffuse mesothelioma who were exposed to asbestos either negligently or in breach of statutory duty by their employers, and who are unable to bring a claim for compensation against the employer or their insurer.
The scheme can also compensate family members who were financially dependent on the sufferer at the time of his death.
For more information visit https://mesoscheme.org.uk/ or contact the scheme administrators, Gallagher Basset, at DMPS@gbtpa.com or 0131 331 9090. Application forms are available at Mr Healey’s Wath office for constituents. Phone 01709 875943.