The National Asbestos Helpline (NAH) is urging anyone diagnosed with the asbestos-related condition pleural plaques to get in touch with the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) to check whether or not they are eligible to claim £5,000 in government compensation.
The closing date for applications under the Ministry of Justice ‘Pleural Plaques Former Claimants Scheme’ is 1st August 2011.
The MoJ scheme was introduced after a ruling by the Law Lords on 17 October 2007 upheld a Court of Appeal decision that the existence of pleural plaques does not constitute actionable or compensatable damage. However, as a result the government introduced this scheme whereby those who had started a claim prior to 17 October 2007 may be eligible to claim £5,000.
The NAH is highlighting the importance of submitting claims urgently in order to make the deadline. If you are unsure whether or not you are eligible, you can visit the MoJ website at: http://www.justice.gov.uk/guidance/compensation-schemes/pleural-plaques/index.htm or call them on 0300 303 8150.
Alternatively contact the union or law firm who first started your claim for assistance and advice. The NAH stresses that claimants should NOT be charged anything by the organisation handling their claim for this service.
For those sufferers who have never started a claim or were diagnosed with Pleural Plaques after 17 October 2007, the NAH has set up the Pleural Plaques National Register.
Richard Clarke, general manager of the NAH said: “Sufferers of Pleural Plaques are forgotten victims; they live in fear of developing more serious asbestos-related disease as well as facing discrimination from insurance companies who often demand higher premiums for a condition, ruled as being asymptomatic.”
“The NAH is a leading national service that offers help and support to victims of asbestos-related disease and their relatives, advising on benefit entitlements, compensation, support services and treatments.”
The Pleural Plaques National Register allows sufferers to receive the newsletter containing updates, details of specialist relevant services and preferential offers. The NAH also has an active Facebook page where people share and exchange their views and experiences.
For more information call 0800 043 6635 or visit The National Asbestos Helpline: http://www.nationalasbestos.co.uk/pleural-plaques-register