Asbestos cancer fund news in the House of Commons is good news for asbestos victims. We can report that the levy for an asbestos compensation fund is to remain the same at £33.5 million.
Here we explain what this means and possible changes that might help asbestos victims
The asbestos cancer fund – DMPS
The Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme (DMPS) was set up in April 2014 to pay compensation for victims of asbestos cancer (mesothelioma). The scheme works for those who cannot claim compensation because the company that they worked for has gone bust and no insurer could be traced. It is funded by payments made as a levy by employers liability insurers.
There are about 2600 mesothelioma victims per year. It is estimated up to 500 each year are unable to claim.
Here is a link with more information about the DMPS system /www.corries.co.uk/asbestos-claims/
Here is a link to the scheme itself https://mesoscheme.org.uk/
Asbestos cancer announcement
Sarah Newton, Minister of State for Disabled People, Health and Work confirmed that the yearly levy to pay into this fund will stay at £33.5 million. This will be paid by insurers by the end of March 2018.
The third annual report for dealing with the scheme was published on 30 November and Corries reported on it here http://www.corries.co.uk/asbestos-cancer-scheme-call-change-government-letting-victims/.
So why is this important?
The announcement is important because:-
- It shows the continuing need for people diagnosed with asbestos-related cancer to be compensated.
- The numbers of victims going through the scheme are constant and are showing no immediate signs of tailing off;
- That the figure stays the same clearly shows the insurance industry’s concerns in 2014 that this would be a huge liability have not proved true.
In our opinion this announcement is especially relevant and shows that there is more that the insurance industry can do.
The DMPS scheme can and should be extended.
The latest report on the scheme in November 2017 showed that a large percentage of victims were still not getting paid under the scheme. We think the criteria is too tough.
At Corries we suggest a simple three step plan
- To lower the threshold for scheme claims so more people are paid;
- If this means the payments made are higher then a slight increase to the levy should be enforced and;
- Adding another scheme to people suffering asbestos related lung cancer
Asbestos cancer – good news on the horizon?
An asbestos cancer case of BUSSEY was before the Court of Appeal on 23rd January 2018. If successful this appeal could have a huge impact on people who suffer with mesothelioma in the future.
Corries Director and Solicitor Howard Bonnett commented:
“The government announcement on the mesothelioma levy is welcome news. However I think the government could be doing a lot more. In particular the number of people rejected under the scheme should be lowered.
In addition I hope that the BUSSEY appeal corrects the rights of victims of mesothelioma. For too long insurers have enjoyed a windfall from not having to settle mesothelioma cases because of decisions made in 2011. This unfairly denies compensation to those suffering this awful disease. Let us hope that 2018 brings a fairer future for asbestos sufferers”
At Corries we aim to keep you informed of any developments in the law. If you or a family member have been affected by asbestos disease in the last three years then call our friendly team now on 0800 083 7839.