Thank you for contacting me about compensation for asbestos victims.
I am deeply saddened when I hear of cases of asbestos related disease, and I am deeply sympathetic to the plight of people who are unable to trace a liable employer or insurer against whom they can bring forward a claim for these terrible diseases.
As you are aware, compensation is available in the instance that victims have not already commenced legal action or are unable to trace a liable former employer. This compensation is given through diffuse mesothelioma payments (the ‘2008 scheme’), the Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme (DMPS), or the Pneumoconiosis Etc. (Workers’ Compensation) Act 1979 scheme. Payments do indeed differ under these schemes according to various criteria. It is important that claimants are well supported under these schemes, and that every victim of asbestos use receives the compensation that they are entitled to.
Payments under the 2008 scheme vary according to the age of mesothelioma diagnosis. Diffuse mesothelioma is almost always caused by asbestos exposure and average life expectancy is 12 to 21 months, therefore this simple and straightforward payment scheme according to age of diagnosis is a sensible solution. Other asbestos-related diseases are more complex, with regards to ascertaining their cause, anticipating their severity, and understanding any aggravating factors. A straightforward tariff-based scheme would therefore not be appropriate or fair in these cases.
Regarding posthumous payments, the surviving partners of people who pass away due to asbestos related disease should undoubtedly be given the support they need. The loss of a partner is devastating, and it is recognised that compensation is due where a victim of asbestos has been unable to claim before death.
I appreciate this might not be the response you wanted to hear, it is important however that funding goes to those who are currently suffering from asbestos related disease and can benefit from it most.
Thank you again for contacting me.