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Child Maintenance and Other Payments Act 2008


Current position

56.The intention of the Pneumoconiosis etc. (Workers’ Compensation) Act 1979 (“the 1979 Act”) was to provide a reasonable level of compensation to sufferers of certain dust related diseases, or their dependants, who are unable to pursue a civil claim because their former employers have ceased to carry on business. Mesothelioma is one of the diseases covered by the 1979 Act, and only people who receive Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit are eligible to receive a payment under the 1979 Act.

57.The Social Security (Recovery of Benefits) Act 1997 (“the 1997 Act”) provides for the recovery of social security benefits (as listed in the 1997 Act) which have been paid in respect of any accident, injury or disease to claimants who go on to receive compensation in respect of the accident, injury or disease, following a civil claim. The intention of the 1997 Act was to ensure that a person does not receive double compensation, and that the Government could recover the listed social security benefit payments it had made, from the person deemed liable for the accident, injury or disease following a civil claim.

Proposed changes

58.The Act will enable a lump sum payment to be provided for those not eligible under the 1979 Act who:

  • Have been exposed to asbestos from a relative (for example, from their overalls);

  • Have been exposed to asbestos environmentally (for example, have lived near a factory using asbestos);

  • Are self-employed; or

  • Can not trace their specific exposure to asbestos but there is nothing to suggest that they were exposed elsewhere other than in the UK.

59.In effect, the proposed new scheme will mean that all sufferers of mesothelioma, as a result of exposure to asbestos, will be eligible for a payment regardless of their employment status, provided they have not already received a compensation payment through a civil claim or a payment under the 1979 Act or new scheme.

60.In addition, the Act introduces the ability to recover payments made under the 1979 Act or the new scheme, where a person then goes on to receive compensation in a civil claim.

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