Asbestos-related conditions

Benefits and compensation for asbestos-related disease

If you are diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, you may be eligible for compensation or financial assistance.

Depending on your circumstances, this can happen through the courts, the benefits system or government compensation schemes.

You may wish to pursue a civil claim against previous employers, where exposure to asbestos may have occurred during that employment. Mesothelioma UK has advice on making a claim and what questions to ask a solicitor to check they specialise in this area and have a good track record.  The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers lists specialist solicitors.  In Scotland, get in touch with Clydeside Action on Asbestos (CAA).

People across the UK who have asbestos-related conditions can apply for industrial injuries benefits if they have 1 of the conditions known as a ‘prescribed disease’. These are:

  • asbestosis
  • mesothelioma
  • lung cancer with asbestosis
  • lung cancer without asbestosis if there has been extensive occupational exposure to asbestos in specified occupations
  • diffuse pleural thickening

There are also government compensation schemes under the Pneumoconiosis etc (Worker’s Compensation) Act 1979 and the Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme.

Learn more about benefits and compensation for asbestos-related conditions.

In Wales, the Asbestos Awareness and Support Cymru gives support to people with asbestos-related disease. For more information visit their website or call their helpline on 01495 272479.

People with pleural plaques in Scotland and Northern Ireland may be able to claim compensation and should take legal advice about taking this action. However, this is not the case for people in England and Wales.

In Scotland, Clydeside Action on Asbestos campaigns for people with asbestos-related disease. They can also advise you on welfare rights and help to find you a specialist solicitor. You can call them on 0141 552 8852 or by freephone on 0800 089 1717.

Asbestos Victims Support Groups Forum is another useful place to look for benefits advice and support.

It is a good idea to seek advice quickly so that you claim correctly and receive what you are entitled to. Our welfare benefits advisers are a good place to start. Call the helpline on 03000 030 555 and we can tell you about the various financial support and compensation options that might be available to you and your family, including state benefits, and guide you to other sources of help and support.

Download our asbestos-related conditions PDF (359KB)

Last medically reviewed: January 2018. Due for review: January 2021

This information uses the best available medical evidence and was produced with the support of people living with lung conditions. Find out how we produce our information. If you’d like to see our references get in touch.