We try to keep everything clear and straightforward for you
If you have been diagnosed with Mesothelioma, Asbestosis, Asbestos Lung Cancer, Pleural Thickening or Pleural Plaques, you may have an entitlement to one or more of the following; Government State Benefits – (lump sum payment and/or weekly payments for benefits such as Attendance Allowance, PIP, Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit), a Veteran’s Agency claim, a Civil Insurance claim or a claim through the Mesothelioma Payment Scheme.
See the tariffs below for the Government lump sum payments for mesothelioma and also the lump sum tariff payments through the Mesothelioma Payment Scheme. These are on a tariff depending upon your age at the time of application and similar sums for mesothelioma are available through successful civil insurance claims, although these are calculated differently and are not on a fixed tariff. Therefore compensation payments through civil insurance policies can be higher or lower than the Scheme tariff payments.
Most cases are settled in lifetime, however, we do help families who have lost a loved one to one of the above conditions within the past 3 years. Sometimes we are contacted by hospice staff to help families with support, care and guidance when people are at end of life. We often deal with family members for people who are too poorly.
We go to great lengths to keep everything as discrete, simple and straightforward as possible, with lots of help, information, support and guidance along the way. Therefore we provide you and your family with a complete holistic wraparound service from a close-knit legal team.
Types of Asbestos ReLATED CONDITIONS
This can be following a lung biopsy or a clinical diagnosis as sometimes people are too poorly for a lung biopsy.
This can be of the lining of the:
lung (pleura) – this is by far the most common accounting for over 75% of cases,
With a diagnosis of mesothelioma, sometimes the past exposure to asbestos dust can be low and the dust can of course be invisible and microscopic. You may not be aware of particular past exposures and so always get in touch and hear what we have to say on this and how we can best help you
Mesothelioma is a “long tail” disease and so sometimes people have been exposed to low levels of asbestos dust around 30 or even 60 years ago. We have specialist knowledge and trained staff who can help you with this evidence. It is possible to have been exposed to asbestos just 10 years before your diagnosis
There is an automatic Government Lump Sum available for this diagnosis
We help people who were self employed
We help people who were exposed through laundering their partner’s dusty work clothes, or for those who grew up in a home where their late father may have come home from work with asbestos dust on his clothing. These are called “secondary exposure claims”
We help families with fatal claims where they have lost a loved one to this condition within the last 3 years.
It is possible for us to speak with your spouse or family member if you are too poorly, or do not feel up to getting involved in a legal claim at this stage.
Asbestos Lung Cancer
This can be any type of lung cancer and differs from mesothelioma as you would need to have had exposure to asbestos dust for at least one year. Often people have fairly moderate exposures over a 5 or 10 year period and this does not have to be consecutive years.
A good example of one case is a plumber who ripped out old bathrooms in a large hotel during hotel refurbishments for over a year back in the 1970s. He did not realise that he would have been coming into contact with old asbestos string used on the old toilet cisterns and sinks, until he spoke with a specialist solicitor. He had an asbestos lung cancer claim.
It does not matter if you smoke or have a past history of smoking as it is the combined effect of both the carcinogens from the smoking and the asbestos dust that put you at much greater risk of contracting lung cancer. For this reason the asbestos lung cancer claims are sometimes successful.
This is non cancerous scar tissue on the lungs and is a lung disease caused by long term damage from asbestos fibres. These fibres are microscopic and so people do not realise they are breathing them in. Once inside your body the fibres are so strong, your body cannot get rid of them. They also cause damage to your lungs by irritating healthy lung tissue. The lungs get scarred and stiffen from this irritation over time.
People with asbestosis frequently have breathing problems.
Sometimes asbestosis can be confused with fibrosis which can appear similar on a CT scan, however, fibrosis tends to come on quickly and progress rapidly. Therefore asbestosis can have a slower progression and sometimes pleural thickening and/or pleural plaques are also visible on the CT scan
Pleural Thickening and Pleural Plaques
These are benign conditions and show up on a chest X-ray or CT scan
Pleural Plaques are a chalky calcium based material that builds upon the lining of the lungs and is often indicative of heavy past asbestos exposure. The disease typically has no physical symptoms and does not require treatment. Compensation for pleural plaques was restricted over 10 years ago, however, sometimes people can still claim if they have symptoms from this condition, such as breathlessness.
Pleural thickening results from severe scarring of the pleura. It is more widespread that the scarring associated with pleural plaques and leads to much more severe symptoms. Compensation is available for this condition depending upon your percentage of respiratory disability.
All enquiries and initial research is free of charge whilst we see if you do have an entitlement to a claim and figure out which claim(s) are most suited to you. If you do have a viable civil insurance claim, then our funding is on a no win no fee basis. We do not deduct anything from our clients compensation payments for success fees and our clients keep the full amount of any compensation recovered. Our fees are paid on a standard hourly rate at the conclusion of your claim, by the insurance company who are paying you your compensation. If we do not recover any compensation for you, then our legal fees are written off and you are not charged for anything whatsoever. In Mesothelioma Payment Scheme claims, the Scheme has set a fixed fee of a maximum £7,000 and this includes VAT, and this is paid by you, out of your compensation payment, once you have received this. Some clients just have the Government State Benefit claims or claims through the Veteran’s Agency and these are done on your behalf, on a pro bono (free of charge) basis by our trained Macmillan staff. We provide local Citizen’s Advice agencies with a whole range of pro bono advice relating to asbestos.
Tariff for the Mesothelioma Payment Scheme (tax free payments)
This is available during lifetime or a spouse/partner of more than 2 years living together, can apply within 3 years of losing a loved one
It is not an automatic pay out and is available as a last resort, if your past employers did not take out any Employer’s Liability insurance cover. This was often not taken out as this insurance was not compulsory for employers until after 1972 and even then it was not strictly enforced.
We will look at all of your employment history as sometimes people were exposed to asbestos at more than one place of work.
Tariff for Mesothelioma DWP Lump Sum Payments (tax free payments)
Government Lump Sum Payment Awards are set out below for a diagnosis of Mesothelioma (there are lower lump sums for other asbestos conditions, (see above) or for fatal claims from family members where their loved one did not claim these benefits during lifetime).
You do not need to worry about details of your past asbestos exposures and a diagnosis of mesothelioma from a biopsy or clinical diagnosis is all that is required. Always apply as soon as possible after receiving a diagnosis to ensure that you receive the full amount.
Any future compensation from a successful civil insurance claim or claim through the Mesothelioma Payment Scheme, will have this lump sum payment deducted from your compensation and repaid to the DWP. Other state benefit payments you receive in relation to your asbestos condition can also be subject to this deduction and we can advise you on this at the beginning of your claim and once state benefits have all been obtained
Age when Diagnosed (DWP)
14651 (& over)
Meet Some of our Work Related Disease Resolution Team
Helen grew up and lives in the South West and has over 27 years of experience in litigation and asbestos related illness cases, with specialist APIL Asbestos Disease Accreditation. Helen is highly recommended in the leading independent legal publication – Legal 500 where she has been noted for “leaving no stone unturned” and this is important for the difficult low level asbestos exposure cases.
With a dedicated close knit team, Helen can provide her clients with speed, efficiency and keeping everything very simple and straight forward, so that the legal claim does not end up causing an additional layer of stress and anxiety. With experienced Macmillan trained staff and Helen’s own personal experiences, there is also genuine care, compassion and empathy for clients and their families.
Helen regularly acts for people who were employed or self-employed sub-contractors who often wrongly believe that due to their self-employed status they will not have a claim
Many clients benefit from this as Helen often comes across the same companies such as; Westland Helicopters, British Cellophane, Milk Marketing Board, RNAS Yeovilton, W Coombes Builders, Dyer & Sons, Clarkes Shoe Factory and Hinkley Point Power Station (Plant A).
Adam has experience working with clients who may have been exposed to asbestos dust and visits clients in their homes initially to complete the application forms for the automatic Government payments, such as Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB), Government Lump Sum Payment and Attendance Allowance.
Adam is experienced in obtaining details of past employment from the time of leaving school up until retirement. Most people cannot remember exact dates of employment and can only provide their best guess. It is perfectly normal not to remember all of the places where you worked and this is ok for your Government payments as a very basic employment history is absolutely fine.
If you were self-employed, you should jot down some of the places where you can remember working as a sub-contractor.
If you are also having a Civil Insurance claim investigated, Adam will bring the No Win No Fee Contract (Conditional Fee Agreement) form for you to sign and can answer any of your questions on this funding form.
Senior Paralegal and Medical Specialist, Litigation
Jo lives and works in Taunton and has years of invaluable experience helping people with Mesothelioma and Asbestos Lung Cancer. Jo will advise on the early stages of your case to include the urgent automatic asbestos related Government payments, both lump sum and weekly. Jo can obtain a Blue Badge for you if you are suffering with breathlessness and also look into claiming Attendance Allowance. Jo has close links with the Taunton Citizen's Advice and can point you in the right direction for other state benefits, such as PiP.
If your claim has good prospects of success for a Civil Insurance or a Scheme claim, Jo will obtain your Inland Revenue Employment History Schedule and your medical records.
With a background in healthcare, Jo has empathy and compassion and is well placed to talk with you and/or your partner following an upsetting and difficult diagnosis. Jo will come to see you in the comfort of your own home or you can speak with her on the telephone/Zoom appointment.
With close family members in the teaching profession in schools in Taunton and Bristol, raising awareness of the asbestos still in our schools is close to Jo’s heart where teachers and pupils remain at risk of exposure to asbestos. Jo supports the campaign run by Lucie Stephens and you can sign her petition for all asbestos to be removed in our UK schools by 2030 by clicking on; https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petition.
Sarah splits her time with the crime team and asbestos disease team and has worked with AmicusLaw since 2016.
Sarah is available to speak with anyone who has been diagnosed with a respiratory condition as a result of past asbestos exposure and often this is very low level exposure where people do not know where or how they have come into contact with asbestos dust, until they speak with a specialist. Sarah is available to take full details of anyone who has a diagnosis, or a suspected diagnosis of:
- Mesothelioma (this can be of the lung or abdomen). This can be following a diagnosis from a biopsy or from a clinical diagnosis as sometimes people are too poorly for a diagnosis.
- Asbestos related lung cancer. This can be any type of lung cancer and there is normally heavy past exposure to asbestos dust of one year or more. It does not matter if you have a smoking history as it is the combined effect of smoking and inhaling asbestos dust that put people at a much higher risk of contracting lung cancer.
- Asbestosis. This is sometimes initially diagnosed as fibrosis and people with this diagnosis have a heavy past exposure to asbestos dust.
- Pleural thickening/plaques. These are benign conditions and can cause pain and breathlessness.
Sarah is a friendly and outgoing member of the team, and clients find her to be warm and approachable.
Outside of work, Sarah is an avid gardener and aspiring artist, and enjoys looking after her mischievous Jack Russell, Dudley. Sarah enjoys socialising with her friends, spectating the rugby, both the national and local teams.