Claiming under the Pneumoconiosis etc (Workers' Compensation Act) 1979

If you suffer from a dust-related disease, you may be able to claim compensation even if your employer who caused the disease has ceased trading.

Workers and former workers who contract an asbestos-related disease as a result of their employer's negligence are able to sue for compensation in the civil courts. The Pneumoconiosis etc (Workers' Compensation Act) 1979 provides a financial safety net where the employer who caused the disease has ceased trading and cannot be sued.

Am I eligible to make a claim?

You may be entitled to a lump sum payment under the Act if you fulfil the following conditions:

  • You have an asbestos-related disease such as pneumoconiosis, mesothelioma, byssinosis, pleural thickening or lung cancer.
  • You have been awarded Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB) in respect of the disease.
  • The negligent employer who caused your disease has ceased trading.
  • You have not started court action against your former employer or received compensation from them in the past.

You can go on to file a civil lawsuit against your employer at a future date. However, if your claim is successful, the Court will deduct the amount of your 1979 Act award from your damages.

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How do I apply?

Applications should be made using form PWC1, available online or from your local Job Centre Plus. You have 12 months from the date you become entitled to IIDB to make a claim under the Act; in most cases, you will make the benefit claim and the compensation claim simultaneously.

You do not need a solicitor to make a claim. However, you may wish to have a legal expert review your case. Often, it is possible to make a claim against your former employer even if they have gone out of business, as long as they had a policy of insurance in place. The amount of compensation you receive through the civil courts is typically much higher than the lump sum paid out under the 1979 Act, so it is always worth asking a solicitor to explore your options.

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How much compensation will I receive?

How much you get depends upon your age and your level of disability. Younger people, and those with a serious asbestos-related disability receive more compensation than older workers and those deemed more able. Dependants of someone who died from a dust-related disease may also make a claim within 12 months of the death of the sufferer.

Payments are fixed by Parliament and published on the Government website.

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How Quittance can help

Making a claim for an industrial disease requires specialist legal knowledge. To find out how Quittance's expert panel of solicitors can help with your claim, call us on 0800 612 7456 or fill out our online form and we will call you back at a time that is convenient to you.

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