Government Scheme for Mesothelioma Victims - From 25th July 2012
By Warren Miller. 18th August 2012
From 25th July 2012 there will be a new support scheme to help mesothelioma victims, this comes 2 years after the then Labour Government consulted on a “fund of last resort”.
This new government scheme has been set up to provide compensation when people diagnosed with mesothelioma cannot trace the insurance companies of the companies where exposure to asbestos took place.
The scheme, funded by insurers, will assist around 3,000 victims of the cancer over the next 10 years.
There is an allocation of £300 million, this is in addition to the £200 million already paid out by insurance companies each year in mesothelioma claims.
Lord Freud, the minister for Welfare said of the scheme:
” We have worked tirelessly together with the insurance industry to agree this package of measures on behalf of those who face this terrible disease. The new scheme will mean that, for the first time, sufferers of diffuse mesothelioma, who cannot trace either a liable employer or employers' liability insurer, will have access to extra payments. ”
Limitations of the Scheme
There are limitations to the scheme. It only applies to victims of mesothelioma and only when the diagnosis of the disease is after 24th July 2012. It does not apply to public liability cases involving environmental or secondary exposure. Also, there are no details as to whether next of kin will be able to recover compensation in respect of a deceased victim.
New Measures Proposed
There will also be new measures aimed to speed up the process of receiving compensation following a diagnosis of mesothelioma. These will include:
- A new website where victims of mesothelioma can register details of their claim so that the parties involved can exchange information.
- Government departments including the DWP (Department for Work and Pensions) and HMRC (HM Revenue and Customs) will aim to speed up the process of providing details of employment and benefits.
- Early disclosure of evidence for mesothelioma cases, which will require changes to Civil Procedure Rules.
There will also be a levy on employers' liability insurers to fund the scheme to the tune of £25-£35 million per year. Membership to the scheme will be compulsory as will membership to ELTO ( the Employers' Liability Tracing Office), which ensures that where there is a liable insurer, they will pay the compensation.
How to claim under the new scheme
This new scheme will help those who develop mesothelioma where an employer or an employers' liability insurer cannot be traced.
Some people simply have no idea how or when they were exposed to asbestos, or they may have worked briefly for a company that ceased trading decades ago. Under these circumstances it would still be worth a quick phone call to see if our solicitors can help you. They have access to information not available to the general public and may be able to trace an insurer even if the company ceased trading some time ago. They will also investigate other possible sources of exposure including schooling, housing and secondary exposure – where a family member used to come home with asbestos dust on clothing.
For further details, please contact us on the number below and ask for Warren Miller.