DETAILS of a scheme that will allow asbestos victims in Burton and South Derbyshire to apply for compensation packages worth an average of £123,000 have finally been released.
The Government has increased this from the initial £115,000 debated in the House of Commons in January after making savings in the administration costs of the scheme.
Around 3,500 victims of the aggressive cancer or their families can now apply for compensation and will receive a payment of around £123,000 from July this year, as part of a £380 million package.
Minister for Disabled People Mike Penning said: “This scheme represents a major breakthrough for the many victims of this terrible disease.
“Politicians and the insurance industry have for years ignored the plight of the innocent victims of this awful disease.
“This will end years of injustice for mesothelioma victims and their families - who have had to endure this terrible disease with little hope of any compensation from the insurance industry.
“Applications are now being taken for scheme payments.
“This is a huge step forward in helping victims of Mesothelioma and their dependants access financial support.
“Under the new scheme, eligible applicants will receive an average payment of £123,000, before benefit recovery.
“Successful applicants will also receive an additional £7,000 towards the legal costs involved.
“We have made it an absolute priority to bring in the scheme as soon as legislation will allow, so I am pleased to announce that victims will be able to apply for payments.”
High profile victims in this area have included Steve Ward, of Repton, who died at 49 and former Mail journalist Andy Parker.
Mesothelioma, which often takes 40 to 50 years to present symptoms after exposure to asbestos, has resulted in more than 300 people every year struggling to find a relevant party to sue for damages, because companies become insolvent or insurance records go missing and disappearing forever.
Further information, including how to make online applications, can be found by visiting www.mesoscheme.org.uk