Friday, May 29, 2015

Metropolitan police officers in UK in asbestos alert - Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme

Mesothelioma is a type of lung cancer which is very rare. But it has been found to be associated with a long duration of exposure to asbestos. Asbestos is a building material which was used earlier for roofing and has since been banned due to the association with asbestosis and lung cancers like squamous cell carcinoma and mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma sufferers are eligible for compensation from the UK govt scheme DMPS

The London metropolitan police have now, in May 2015, been found to be at risk of asbestos exposure. According to the BBC, around 30,000 metropolitan police might have come into contact. with asbestos during firearms training between 1980 and 2007.

The Independent UK, also quoted Chief Superintendent Mike Gallagher, from the Specialist Firearms Command, saying, “Clearly this is not just an issue affecting the Met, with asbestos present in many industrial and residential properties built prior to 2000."

Mesothelioma usually develops after around 10 to 20 years of exposure to asbestos, so this is about time for symptoms to develop for those who might have been exposed.

What are the symptoms of mesothelioma ?

  • Symptoms of pleural mesothelioma (mesothelioma of the chest) includes:
    • Pain in the side of the chest or lower back
    • Shortness of breath
    • Cough
    • Fever
    • Excessive sweating
    • Fatigue
    • Weight loss (without trying)
    • Trouble swallowing (feeling like food gets stuck)
    • Hoarseness
    • Swelling of the face and arms

  • Symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma includes:
    • Abdominal (belly) pain
    • Swelling or fluid in the abdomen
    • Weight loss (without trying)
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Constipation
These symptoms can be caused by mesothelioma, but more often they are caused by other conditions. Still, if you have any of these problems (especially if you have been exposed to asbestos), it’s important to see your doctor right away so the cause can be found and treated, if needed.

Compensation for mesothelioma in UK

The British Broadcasting Corporation also recently mentioned that victims of mesothelioma are to receive an average of £123,000 compensation from a newly created fund. Those diagnosed with this cancer after July 2012 and who cannot sue former employers as they have become bankrupt or insurance details have disappeared are eligible.

What is the Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme ?

The so called Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme is for diagnosed patients of mesothelioma in the UK who can’t find the employer responsible for their contact with asbestos, or their insurer.

Those under the 2008 scheme are eligible for a single payment according to the age at which their mesothelioma was diagnosed.

The newer DMPS pays more, and the amount depends on the details of your mesothelioma. You can claim from DMPS even if you were paid under the old 2008 scheme earlier.

According to the UK government website,

Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme (DMPS)
You may be able to claim if all of the following apply:
  • you were diagnosed with diffuse mesothelioma on or after 25 July 2012
  • your mesothelioma was caused by exposure to asbestos when working in the UK
  • you can’t trace the employer that exposed you to asbestos, or their insurers
  • you haven’t made a civil claim against any employer or insurer
  • you haven’t received damages or a specified payment for mesothelioma and you’re not eligible to a specified payment
You may also be able to claim if you were the dependant of a sufferer who has died.
You can claim for DMPS even if you have already claimed from the 2008 scheme or under the 1979 Pneumoconiosis Act. If you’ve already got a payment from the 2008 scheme or the Pneumoconiosis Act, it will be deducted from the amount you get from DMPS.
You may still be able to claim from the 2008 scheme even if you are unsuccessful in your DMPS claim.
You can check the eligibility of a patient to apply for the UK Mesothelioma scheme here.

You can apply online at the DMPS website.

You’ll need:

  • your National Insurance number
  • your full employment history, with evidence - eg P60s
  • evidence of unsuccessful attempts to trace your employer or insurers
  • the date of your diagnosis
  • evidence of diagnosis
  • details of any previous claims
  • a witness statement

Contact Gallagher Basset for more information on the DMPS and how to apply.

Gallagher Basset
Telephone: 0131 331 9090
Find out about call charges

PO Box 17405
EH12 1FX

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