People who contract mesothelioma after working with asbestos could now receive £123,000 as part of a new compensation scheme introduced by the government.
Ministers had initially set the figure at £115,000 per case, but have been able to increase it following savings in the cost of administering the scheme.
Mesothelioma is a deadly strain of cancer that attacks the linings of the major organs in the body. It is common among industrial workers who spent years being exposed to asbestos.
Once diagnosed, the victim’s life expectancy is less than 12 months.
The disease can take up to 50 years to develop, which means many workers from the 1970s and 80s are likely to contract the disease within the next ten years.
In recent years, many victims have been unable to get compensation because the company that exposed them to asbestos had gone out of business or could not be traced. The correct insurance documents couldn’t be located in several other cases.
The government set up the fund, which is financed by insurance firms, to compensate these victims.
Work and Pensions Minister, Mike Penning said: “This will end years of injustice for mesothelioma victims and their families – who have had to endure this terrible disease with little hope of any compensation from the insurance industry.”
It is expected that 800 eligible people will receive the £123,000 compensation package this year, with a further 300 each year up until 2024.
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