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Asbestos-related conditions

Benefits and compensation for asbestos-related disease

If you’re diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, you may be eligible for compensation or financial assistance. On this page, we explain the benefits or compensation you might be entitled to and give advice on how to apply for them.

Depending on your circumstances, compensation can happen through the courts, the benefits system or government compensation schemes. It’s a good idea to seek advice quickly so you claim correctly and receive what you’re entitled to. Call our helpline on 03000 030 555 and we can give you general advice about the various financial support and compensation options that might be available to you, including state benefits. We can also guide you to other sources of help and support.

Industrial injury benefits and government compensation schemes

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

These are:

There are also government compensation schemes under the Pneumoconiosis etc (Worker’s Compensation) Act 1979 and the Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme. You can read more about the different forms of compensation on the government website.

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.

You can read more about the benefits you might be entitled to if you live with a long-term lung condition in our welfare benefits information.

Making a claim against previous employers

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 Action on Asbestos.

You can get proof of employment history to support your claim from the gov.uk website.

Further support and advice

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

In Scotland, 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. Go to their website or call them on 0141 552 8852 or by freephone on 0800 089 1717.

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

Download our asbestos information (PDF, 135KB)

We use your comments to improve our information. We cannot reply to comments left on this form. If you have health concerns or need clinical advice, call our helpline on 03000 030 555 between 9am and 5pm on a weekday or email them.