Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Higher Compensation for Mesothelioma Sufferers

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Higher Compensation for Mesothelioma Sufferers

Article excerpt

Byline: Jonathan Walker Political Editor

ASBESTOS-RELATED cancer suffers are to receive up to PS54,000 extra in compensation under new rules announced by Ministers.

The change was welcomed by MPs, who said it was overdue - but would make a difference to people in need.

Under new rules for the government's Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme, compensation will rise to match 100 per cent of average civil claims, up from the current 80 per cent, which could mean an increase of up to PS54,000 a person, according to Ministers.

Those diagnosed with asbestos-related mesothelioma from now will benefit from the payment increases.

Mesothelioma is a cancer affecting the lining of internal organs such as the lungs, and is usually connected to exposure to asbestos.

The North East is a blackspot for the disease, because asbestos was used in shipbuilding, construction and the automotive industry.

Ministers introduced legislation in 2013 to provide payments to those who cannot trace their former employer's insurer.

But the compensation on offer was lower than the average compensation people would expect to receive by going through the courts - and MPs have been campaigning for the payments to be increased.

The Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme has already paid out over PS19 million in its first 10 months of operation.

Work and Pensions Minister Lord Freud said: "For years, many victims of this truly terrible disease have been failed by successive governments and the insurance industry.

"With this scheme we are continuing to help the many victims and families that mesothelioma has left without financial support.

"From today we are raising compensation payments to 100% of average civil claims.

"It is partly thanks to the success of the insurance industry in tracing liable insurers and employers that we are able to make these changes as part of our on-going commitment to support mesothelioma sufferers. …

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