If you have mesothelioma, your financial circumstances might change.
You might have extra expenses such as travel costs to hospital. You might feel worried about how you and your family are going to manage financially. If you’re diagnosed with mesothelioma, you and your family can apply for financial assistance. There are several options. You might decide to:
- pursue a civil claim against your former employer
- claim from compensation funds
- claim various state benefits
These are time-limited – usually three years from when you were diagnosed for a civil claim, 12 months for a lump sum compensation claim from government schemes. So get expert advice as soon as you can. Applying for benefits can seem daunting, but there are many people who can offer advice and will help guide you through the process at no cost.
A good way to start is by calling our helpline on 03000 030 555 and asking to speak to one of our welfare benefits advisers. We can tell you about state benefits and where to find local help with your application. We can also refer you on to a local asbestos support group where you can get practical help with claiming compensation from the various government funds.
You could also contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau, or speak to the welfare benefits office at your local council. Find details of UK asbestos support groups. In Scotland, get in touch with Clydeside Action on Asbestos (CAA).
Pursuing a civil claim
If you were exposed to asbestos while in employment, you might wish to pursue a civil claim against that previous employer. It’s important to use a solicitor who is a specialist in mesothelioma claims and make sure that they have a good track record in this field. You can ask them how many cases they’ve won and ask for client stories, called case studies. Mesothelioma UK has advice about making a claim, what questions to ask and a list of solicitors. In Scotland, get in touch with Clydeside Action on Asbestos (CAA).
Compensation funds and state benefits
If you have mesothelioma there are different financial options available to you, depending on your circumstances. You can find out about benefits and compensation funds administered by the government at www.gov.uk. Some of the available benefits and compensation funds are listed on our website.
Remember time limits apply, so get expert help as soon as you can. In some cases, you can claim if you were a dependent of a person with mesothelioma who has died.
Industrial injuries disablement benefit (IIDB): For people who can show they were exposed to asbestos (not necessarily worked directly with asbestos) their job. People cannot claim who were self-employed at the time they were exposed to asbestos.
Pneumoconiosis Etc. (Workers’ Compensation) Act 1979: A lump sum available to some people awarded industrial injuries disablement benefit, who apply within 12 months of that award if their employer no longer exists or the work that caused their mesothelioma was over 20 years ago.
Diffuse mesothelioma payments (the ‘2008 scheme’): Designed for people who were not exposed at work. For example, people who lived with an asbestos worker or near a factory that used asbestos. This fund also helps people who were self-employed when they were exposed.
Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme (DMPS): You should first check with a solicitor if you can make a claim against your responsible employer or your employer’s solicitor. If you can’t find either of them, you or your solicitor can apply to the DMPS scheme if you were diagnosed with diffuse mesothelioma on or after 25 July 2012 and meet other criteria. Find out more information about the scheme.
War Pensions Scheme: If you worked for the MOD as a civilian and came into contact with asbestos, you may be able to claim under the schemes above. If you have mesothelioma because you came into contact with asbestos while serving in the armed forces, you might be able to make a claim under the War Pensions Scheme. There are several payments and schemes available depending on your circumstances.
Find out more from Veterans UK or call 0808 1914 218
You might also be entitled to claim general state benefits to help with your family’s income. For example:
Personal Independence Payment (PIP), previously known as Disability Living Allowance, is available (depending on your circumstances) if you are aged under 65 when you apply.
- See the government's information on PIP for additional details.
Attendance Allowance is a benefit for people aged 65 or older.
- See the government's information on Attendance Allowance for additional details.
Carer’s Allowance is for people who are looking after someone who receives a disability benefit. For more infotrmation visit:
- www.gov.uk/carers-allowance (England and Wales)
- www.careinfosctoland.co.uk (Scotland)
- www.nidirect.gov.uk (Northern Ireland)
Employment and Support Allowance is a benefit for people who are of working age but are unable to work because of their illness.
- See the government's information on Employment and Support Allowance for additional details.
The Blue Badge scheme is a parking badge which helps you park closer to your destination if you’re disabled. For more information, contact the welfare benefits advisers at your local council, or visit
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