Guide to the Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme
The Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme
is now in place for those who have the condition after being exposed to asbestos at work
If you are unable to bring a claim against the employer who exposed you, or against their insurance company, you can apply to the Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme in order to receive compensation for you and your loved ones
I Have Diffuse Mesothelioma, Should I Apply?
You can apply if you have been diagnosed with diffuse mesothelioma on or after 25th July 2012
, and your condition was caused by exposure to asbestos during your employment.
To be successful in an application, you have to prove that the exposure to asbestos is a result of the carelessness of your employer
You can, and should only apply if you're unable to trace your employer and their insurance company
. Because diffuse mesothelioma can take 30-40 years to emerge, files can be lost and companies can go bust, this is why the scheme exists. If your employer or their insurer can be traced, you should make a claim against them, as you're likely to receive more compensation that way.
Can I Make a Claim on Behalf of a Relative Who's Passed Away?
You can apply if you are a dependent of the person who's passed away
. A spouse who was living with, or was financially dependent on the sufferer is likely to be considered a dependent. A child can also be a dependent.
If your loved one started an application themselves and passed away before the application was completed, the personal representative of the estate
will receive the payment to distribute as part of the estate.
How Do I Apply?
You can apply online, print off an application and post it in, or have a solicitor apply for you. The application requires a significant amount of supporting documentation
. This includes:
- National Insurance Number
- Full employment history and proof of it, such as payslips or a P60
- Evidence of unsuccessful attempts to trace the sufferer's employer/their insurer
- Details of your diagnosis, including the date, your age at diagnosis and proof of it, such as medical notes or a letter from your GP
- Details of any previous claims relating to your diagnosis
- A witness statement by the person applying that details the sufferers employment history and any periods of asbestos exposure
What About Getting Help From A Solicitor?
If your application is successful, you will receive an additional £7,000 intended to be used for legal fees
. Whatever your legal fees ultimately are, you will always receive £7,000.
The documentation required can mean that the application process is difficult to navigate
without experience in 'insurance archaeology', which involves tracing historic documents
to work out who is responsible for a particular insurance claim. This isn't a skill that every solicitor will have, and therefore it is important to seek advice from an industrial disease claims specialist.
Phillip Gower, Partner at Simpson Millar LLP Solicitors, observes that "To get the most out of this scheme and to ensure that its dealt with as quickly as possible you will need some help and assistance, to check the position of your former employers and the insurance, you will also need to show how and where you were exposed to asbestos
and confirm your diagnosis.
We can help and deal with application on your behalf so that it's dealt as quickly as possible and ensure that you recover the full amount
you are entitled to with minimum fuss."