Press release

Mesothelioma sufferers’ compensation boosted by extra £54,000

Asbestos-related cancer suffers are to receive up to £54,000 extra thanks to new compensation rules.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


Asbestos-related cancer suffers are to receive up to £54,000 extra thanks to new compensation rules brought in today (10 February 2015).

Under new rules for the government’s Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme, compensation will rise to match 100% of average civil claims, up from the current 80% – which could mean an increase of up to £54,000 a person.

Those diagnosed with asbestos-related mesothelioma from today will benefit from the payment increases.

The Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme has already paid out over £19 million in its first 10 months. Hundreds of diffuse mesothelioma sufferers across the country unable to claim compensation as their employer or employer’s liability insurer is untraceable have already been helped.

Work and Pensions Minister, Lord Freud said:

For years, many victims of this truly terrible disease have been failed by successive governments and the insurance industry. With this scheme we are continuing to help the many victims and families that mesothelioma has left without financial support.

From today we are raising compensation payments to 100% of average civil claims. It is partly thanks to the success of the insurance industry in tracing liable insurers and employers that we are able to make these changes as part of our on-going commitment to support mesothelioma sufferers.

Though the majority of suffers are able to claim compensation through the liability insurance held by their employer, a significant minority cannot.

Due to the length of time between asbestos exposure and cancer diagnosis, many employers and their insurers no longer exist and so the liable successor organisations are often untraceable.

The government’s scheme exists to help those sufferers and their dependents.

Details on the government compensation scheme and how to apply are available at: or by telephoning: 0131 331 9090.

More information

Diffuse mesothelioma is a cancer of the lining of internal organs, such as the lungs, and almost always arises from exposure to asbestos. Life expectancy from diagnosis is 8 to 9 months on average.

Diffuse mesothelioma takes a long time to develop – typically 15 to 40 years.

Changes to tariff rules mean that payments from the Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme will rise to 100% of average civil claims, from the current 80%.

Legislation, announced today as part of Work and Pensions Minister Lord Freud’s written statement, will be passed to bring the new tariffs into force.

The Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme compensates individuals with a one-off lump sum payment, subject to the age of the individual. The older a person is at diagnosis, the smaller the lump sum.

Costs for the scheme are met by a levy on the insurance industry.

The Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme is 1 of 3 schemes that provide support for people with industrial diseases, including mesothelioma

Contact Press Office

Media enquiries for this press release – 0203 267 5112

Press Office

Caxton House
Tothill Street


Follow DWP on:

Published 10 February 2015