Applying For Benefits
Applying For Benefits
People suffering from asbestos induced diseases can usually take legal action against employers who exposed them to dangerous quantities of asbestos dust. They can also apply to the Department of Social Security for Industrial injuries benefit if they suffer from various asbestos related conditions known as 'prescribed diseases'. At present these are asbestosis, bilateral diffuse pleural thickening, lung cancer accompanied by one of the first two conditions and Mesothelioma. Pleural plaques alone are not recognised for compensation by the DSS, although an employer can be sued for compensation for pleural plaques alone. A form for application for industrial injuries benefit can be obtained for your local DSS office.
If you suffer from an Industrial Disease then you are entitled to certain benefits. These benefits are yours by right, as compensation for the injuries imposed on you by your employer. lt is your right, no, your duty to claim If you are unable to work because of an accident or illness you may be entitled to. Statutory sick pay If you are working when you contract an Industrial Disease, the first benefit you should claim is
Statutory Sick Pay.
This will be paid and administered by your employer and not the Department of Social Security (D.S.S.) during the first 28 weeks of your sickness You will have to notify your employer very quickly of any illness. To qualify your earnings must currently be more than £66 per week.
You can claim Incapacity Benefit during the first 28 weeks of your sickness when you cannot claim STATUTORY SICK PAY from your employer when for example you have been dismissed from a job. Otherwise this benefit is paid after 28 weeks of sickness when your STATUTORY SICK PAY has stopped. After 28 weeks you will have to satisfy the 'all work test'. The 'all work test' considers your ability to perform certain physical and mental tasks. If you fail the 'all work test' your benefit could be discontinued.
Severe Disablement Allowance
This is paid by the D.S.S. after 28 weeks of sickness and when you are not entitled to INCAPACITY BENEFIT because of your failure to pay enough National Insurance contributions. It can also be paid if you have never worked or have not worked for a very long time.
Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
If you are suffering from an illness or injury which has been caused by your current or previous job you may be entitled to Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit. This forms the basis of the State's Industrial Injuries Scheme. It is paid by the D.S.S. to people who have been injured through an accident or have developed an illness through work since the 5th July 1948. The benefit paid amounts to the level of your disability and for most illnesses you have to be assessed at a level of 14% disabled to qualify However there are a few exceptions. Anyone who has Pneumoconiosis Byssinosis or Mesothelioma requires a disability assessment of 1% or over.
As well as Industrial Injuries you may also be entitled to the following benefits...Reduced Earnings Allowance, Constant Attendance Allowance, or Exceptionally Severe Disablement Allowance. But in order to get these you must claim INDUSTRIAL INJURIES DISABLEMENT BENEFIT first.
Reduced Earnings Allowance
If your work injury or illness has forced you to take lighter work or less hours, you may be entitled to Reduced Earnings Allowance. You can only claim Reduced Earnings Allowance if your accident happened before 1st October 1990 provided the prescribed disease was added to the list before l0th October 1994. To get this benefit you must have claimed INDUSTRIAL INJURIES DISABLEMENT BENEFIT first and have been given at least a 1% disability assessment by a D.S.S. medical board for any work accident or illness. You will also need to establish a loss of earnings due to your accident or illness. If you need care and attention from another person because of your work injury or illness, you may be entitled to...
Constant Attendance Allowance
This is paid to people who need care and attention from another person, and the care relates directly to the effects of the work accident or work illness.
To qualify for Constant Attendance Allowance you need to have been given 100% disability assessment by a medical board. In some circumstances it may be better to claim Disability Living Allowance or Attendance Allowance if you are over 65. Seek advice on what will give you the most benefit.
Exceptionally Severe Disablement Allowance
This allowance is automatically awarded if you are paid Constant Attendance Allowance at one of the two higher rates and the care needs are likely to be at a permanent level.
If you are suffering from Mesothelioma, Byssinosis or Diffuse Pleural Thickening, you may be entitled to a lump sum payment from the D.E.T.R.
Did your work accident or work illness occur before July 1948?
You may be entitled to a civil claim under the Workmen's Compensation Act. It is important to seek advice on this, consult with Clydebank Asbestos Group or any other specialised body.
Disability Living Allowance (care component)
Do you need care and attention from another person? This allowance is paid to someone who needs care and attention from another person because of their physical injury or mental disability.
To qualify you must be at least 13 weeks old and the disabled person has not yet reached their 65th birthday.
This allowance is paid to someone who needs care and attention from another person because of their physical injury or mental disability
To qualify for Attendance Allowance you must be over 65 years of age.
Disability Living Allowance (mobility Component)
You can claim this benefit for getting out and about on your own or in conjunction with the care component It is for people who are unable to walk or people who can walk only a very short distance or for people who can walk but need supervision because they suffer from, for example, agoraphobia or a leaning disability.
If you want to know more about your benefit entitlements make an appointment with the Welfare Rights Officer within the Clydebank Asbestos Group.
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