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Asbestos victims compensation scheme launched

Asbestos victims compensation scheme launched

Wednesday 02 October 2019

Asbestos victims compensation scheme launched


Islanders suffering from cancers linked with asbestos exposure will be able to claim compensation of up to £92,000 from today.

Under the new government scheme, people diagnosed with Diffuse Mesothelioma – an incurable form of cancer that can lead to severe chest pain, breathing difficulties and death, and is common among former construction industry worker - will be able apply for one-off special payments.

The amount paid out will be based on the individual's age at the time of their diagnosis. Payments will range between £92,259 for an individual aged 37 and under £14,334 for an individual aged 77 and over. For example, someone aged 70 would receive a payment of £17,961.

It is planned that the amounts able to be claimed will increase annually in line with Jersey’s inflation rate.

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Pictured: Social Security will be running the scheme.

Jersey’s compensation scheme, which follows an existing UK model, will see claimants have to meet the following criteria:

  • be 18 years or older
  • be resident in Jersey for the last 5 years
  • have a diagnosis of diffuse mesothelioma from a consultant in Jersey 
  • claim within 12 months of first diagnosis 
  • have been exposed to asbestos containing materials (ACM) in Jersey 

Close relatives who have lost someone to the disease in the past year, meanwhile, will also be able to apply for lump sum compensation if they meet these criteria:

  • be ordinarily resident in Jersey for the last five years
  • be a relation of the deceased sufferer 
  • claim for a sufferer who was eligible for the Scheme on the date of their death; and
  • claim within 12 months of the deceased sufferer’s death

The payments have been framed as a loan to include repayment in case the individual received another payment or compensation as a result of a civil claim or an agreement with their employer. 

Those who will receive compensation will have to sign an agreement to advise the Government about any further payment they receive and to repay the money to Social Security. 

asbestos compensation petition

Pictured: The petition calling for compensation for asbestos victims was the first one to reach £1,000.

Application forms will be available online, from medical consultants specialised in the condition, as well as from Customers and Local Services on La Motte Street

The launch of the scheme comes following an e-petition demanding compensation for sufferers and families bereaved due to asbestos-related diseases, which attracted over 1,300 signatures, and a successful proposition brought to the States Assembly by Deputy Carina Alves last November.

£628,000 has been set aside for the scheme between 2020 and 2023 in the Government Plan, which notes: “It is estimated that there will be up to five claims per year (not including the first year) with an estimated cost of £150,000 per annum. There may be additional costs in 2019 in respect of a small additional number of transitional claimants.”

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Pictured: The Social Security Minister, Deputy Judy Martin, said the scheme aims to pay people without delay.

“The aim for this application process is to be as quick and easy as possible to ensure that anyone diagnosed with Diffuse Mesothelioma can receive a payment without delay," Social Security Minister, Deputy Judy Martin said.

"We have already been contacted by a small number of people with the disease and will be helping them to apply as soon as possible."

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