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Volume 447: debated on Thursday 22 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what funds are available to pay compensation to people who suffer from mesothelioma due to exposure to asbestos in the workplace when their employers or insurers cannot be traced; and if he will make a statement. (78573)

[holding answer 19 June 2006]: People suffering from mesothelioma due to exposure in the workplace can make a claim for Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB), Constant Attendance Allowance (CAA) and Exceptionally Severe Disablement Allowance (ESDA). From July 2002 people suffering from mesothelioma were exempted from the need to be medically examined by the Department if clear evidence is already available to confirm their condition. Alongside that change regulations were introduced to automatically award IIDB at the 100 per cent. rate. Currently this is £127.10. In addition CAA may also be payable dependant upon the level of the person’s care needs. There are four rates of payment ranging from £25.45 to £101.80 a week. Where the two higher rates of CAA are in payment Exceptionally Severe Disablement Allowance (ESDA) may also be payable at the current weekly rate of £50.90. Where the relevant employer is no longer in business the person may also make a claim under the Pneumoconiosis etc. (Worker’s Compensation) 1979 Act scheme where the current average payment is £13,000.