Armed Forces



If you have been a member of the Armed Forces, the process for compensation, as well as support available to you, can differ from the general public. 

Mesothelioma UK has a specialist, UK-wide service for armed forces personnel and veterans.  

There are currently 8 veterans per month claiming a war pension due to mesothelioma, meaning there could be 480 new armed forces personnel diagnosed with mesothelioma in the next 5 years (statistic from TheyWorkForYou open data from the UK Parliament).  


Mesothelioma UK funds a clinical nurse specialist based in Portsmouth who specialises in the armed forces. One of our Clinical Nurse Specialists was featured on Forces TV in conversation with an Armed Forces veteran patient, which you can see here.  

We work in partnership with the asbestos support group HASAG to provide a benefits advisor who is an expert in dealing with benefits for veterans.  

If you would like to speak to either the nurse or the benefits advisor, please call our Freephone Support Line on 0800 169 2409 or email

Benefits and Compensation  

For everyone affected by mesothelioma, the benefit and compensation claims process can feel overwhelming and challenging. For armed forces personnel and veterans, there is an added layer of options to consider and explore. The process was even more complex for armed forces personnel and veterans as the law initially protected the Ministry of Defence (MoD) from being sued for compensation for illness or injury caused before 1987. 

Until December 2015, serving and former armed forces personnel who had been exposed to asbestos prior to 1987 were not entitled to seek redress from the MOD under the Crown Immunity indemnity. This policy highlighted the inequities between armed forces personnel and their civilian counterparts. 

Following an active lobbying campaign by a partnership of organisations including the Asbestos Victims Support Group Forum and the Royal British Legion that Mesothelioma UK supported, the law was changed to grant armed forces personnel the ability to access either a tax-free lump sum or a traditional weekly War Pension. Attendance Allowances and Blue Badges can also be applied for. 

Dual exposure 
For those exposed to asbestos outside of any armed force service there are a number of civilian benefits, state and civil compensations options to consider. It is not unusual for an individual to have been exposed during their armed forces service and also outside of that whilst working in a civilian job. This is termed as ‘dual exposure’. 

Dual exposure means the individual may be entitled to and therefore have to consider benefit and compensation options through both the armed forces (Veterans UK) and civilian routes. 

Mesothelioma UK works very closely with Veterans UK. Veterans UK is the part of the Ministry of Defence responsible for providing assistance on many issues including benefits, housing and welfare. Veterans UK and Mesothelioma UK ensure individuals living with mesothelioma who are seeking benefit and compensation advice, receive personalised information focused on securing the most appropriate conclusion for their circumstances. 

More information is available to download here.  

If you would like to find our more information about any of the above, please call our Freephone Support Line on 0800 169 2409 or email or  

Patient Stories  

Mesothelioma UK collates a blog of patient stories. Below are links to some of the fantastic patients who have been in the armed forces. You can read more here.  

Brian Wallis
Brian Wallis

Brian Wallis’ military connections go back at least four generations and he himself served as a Logistics Officer with MoD before retiring in 1996....

Jerry Lakin
Jerry Lakin

Possible exposure to asbestos at RAF base Leicestershire-based Jerry Lakin served in the RAF between 1973 and 1996. In 1984, he was based at RAF...

Rosemary Wallis
Rosemary Wallis

 ‘The Lady Who Knits for England’ Rosemary Wallis died of mesothelioma in April 2013, six months after diagnosis, aged 67. It is likely that she was...

Bernice Scullion
Bernice Scullion

Very sadly, Bernice passed away on 3rd June, 2020. She will be deeply missed by her husband Kevin and her family. May 2018 Bernice Scullion is 46...

John Myers

John Myers, 74, was diagnosed with mesothelioma in November 2018. He is currently not on any medication and awaiting to hear about treatment and...

Squadron Leader William Evans
Squadron Leader William Evans

As part of our specialist military information, advice and support service, Mesothelioma UK benefits advisors have recently helped a former-RAF...

Colin Morris
Colin Morris

Two years on from diagnosis...and stable. Colin Morris, 73, was diagnosed with mesothelioma in July 2016. Colin was exposed to asbestos both during...

See our Armed Forces memorial sculpture at the National Memorial Arboretum.  

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