Thursday 31 December 2020
A payment scheme for people with diffuse mesothelioma will launch from tomorrow (1st January 2021).
The scheme will provide a single payment to people living in Guernsey or Alderney who have been exposed to asbestos and developed diffuse mesothelioma. Other asbestos-related conditions are not covered by the scheme.
The Committee for Employment & Social Security received States support in June to introduce the scheme. An amendment to legislation is still needed, but the scheme will start on an extra-statutory basis with claims able to be submitted from 1 January 2021.
People can make an application if they:
• are 18 years or older;
• are ordinarily resident in Guernsey or Alderney;
• have been exposed to asbestos materials in Guernsey or Alderney;
• have a diagnosis of diffuse mesothelioma which has been confirmed by a Specialist Consultant
Payments will vary according to the age at which a person is diagnosed.
Applications must be made within 12 months of being diagnosed with diffuse mesothelioma. However, under transitional rules if a person was diagnosed before 1 January 2020, retrospective claims can be accepted until 31 March 2021.
Where a person does not receive a payment prior to their death, their partner or dependent family member can claim instead.
Application forms can be obtained from the Pensions & Allowances team on 732506 or Pensionsallowances@gov.gg
Deputy Peter Roffey, President of the Committee for Employment & Social Security, said:
"The launch of this payment scheme is likely to be bittersweet for those who have long campaigned for its introduction. Mesothelioma is a terrible disease, but I'm pleased that, at last, we can introduce this payment scheme for people who have contracted diffuse mesothelioma through exposure to asbestos in Guernsey or Alderney.
"The use and management of asbestos is now strictly controlled. But it was in use commercially for many years, up to the mid-1980s, and it was decades before the link between asbestos and respiratory disease was established and accepted.
"Sadly, the use of asbestos locally, as elsewhere, has led to people being exposed to asbestos fibres. For the very unfortunate few, this has resulted in the serious diseases now known to be associated with its use."