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.
As part of Mesothelioma UK’s Supporting Our Armed Forces service, we’ve collaborated with the University of Sheffield on research projects:
A study that explores the prevalence mesothelioma among British armed forces veterans to understand their experience and health/support needs, and to identify how health and legal professionals, and support agencies can best meet the needs of this group.
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.
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.
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.
‘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...
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...
In 2018 Brian Wallis, Mesothelioma UK Ambassador, was approached by friends of Private George Wing who advised him that George had never received...
John Myers, 74, was diagnosed with mesothelioma in November 2018. He is currently not on any medication and awaiting to hear about treatment and...
Jerry Lakin, whose wife died of mesothelioma earlier in December 2018, made a shocking discovery recently when he requested to see his armed forces...
As part of our specialist military information, advice and support service, Mesothelioma UK benefits advisors have recently helped a former-RAF...
Two years on from diagnosis...and stable. Colin Morris, 73, was diagnosed with mesothelioma in July 2016. Colin was exposed to asbestos both during...