There have been seven successful claims to the States' mesothelioma compensation scheme since it was introduced earlier this year.
Mesothelioma is a cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. In the summer of 2019, the States agreed to set up a compensation scheme for sufferers and their families. It was predicted to cost £100,000 a year. The scheme is run by the Committee for Employment & Social Security.
The compensation scheme was set up after years of campaigning by sufferers of mesothelioma, their families and politicians who supported them. The scheme provides financial assistance to people in Guernsey or Alderney who have been exposed to asbestos and, as a result, developed diffuse mesothelioma. It does not cover other asbestos-related conditions.
Claims could be made from January 2021. Nine applications have been made so far. Seven claims were approved with payments made. Two claims were rejected in cases where there was no diagnosis of mesothelioma.
“Five applications have been made by people living with the disease,” said Mark Gannon, Benefits Manager for the Committee for Employment & Social Security. “And two applications were made by relatives of a person who died from the disease."
Mr Gannon said that at the present time there is no promotional campaign to make people aware of the compensation scheme.
"Primarily, we’re dependent on the medical professionals involved in a person’s diagnosis, treatment or care to signpost to other services or support which a patient may be entitled to," he said.
“Nevertheless, when the team are administering benefit applications for any benefit and they became aware of a person’s diagnosis of diffuse mesothelioma, they would make contact to ensure that, where we know a person may have entitlement to the payment scheme, we encourage an application.”
Applications can be made by anyone who is 18 years or older and ordinarily resident in Guernsey or Alderney and who has been exposed to asbestos materials in Guernsey or Alderney and received a diagnosis of diffuse mesothelioma which has been confirmed by a Specialist Consultant.
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