Living with mesothelioma is not only difficult physically, emotionally and mentally, it can also have an impact financially. Travelling to medical appointments, parking charges, increased heating bills and food supplements can add up. There are a number of places that can provide help, advice and financial support to those who need it.
Macmillan Cancer Support specialists offer advice to those suffering with cancer, their family and carers, on the additional benefits and financial support available. Macmillan can look at individual situations and advise on the best solutions. Macmillan can be contacts on 0808 808 000 or www.macmillan.org.uk.
ASBESTOS EXPOSURE CAUSED BY EMPLOYMENT
If mesothelioma has been caused by exposure to asbestos through employment, a regular payment of Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit can be applied for. The Benefits Enquiry Line can be contacted on 0800 882 200.
A claim for compensation may also be possible. To pursue a claim you should contact a solicitor who specialises in industrial disease claims, these claims are more complex than personal injury claims and it is important that a claim is dealt with by an experienced, specialist solicitor. In order to pursue a claim details will need to be given in relation to the employer that caused the exposure to asbestos and the jobs that led to this. It is then the solicitor’s job to trace the company and the insurer for the periods of employment to find someone to pay out for the claim. Unfortunately this is not always possible, in these circumstances it is not possible to make a civil claim for compensation, however a claim can be made through the Pneumoconiosis Workers Compensation Act 1979. This is a lump sum payment from the government, it is usually a lower amount than would be recovered through a civil compensation claim and so it is always best to explore this option fully first.
ASBESTOS EXPOSURE NOT CAUSED BY EMPLOYMENT
If mesothelioma was not caused by exposure to asbestos during employment, a claim can be made through the Diffuse Mesothelioma Scheme 2008. This is a one-off payment from the government. Applications for this must be made within one year of diagnosis.
For advice and details of the payments available the Industrial Injuries Benefit Centre can be contacted on 0800 279 2322.
There is a government fund which makes payments to those in need. The Social Fund can provide Cold Weather Payments between 1st November and 31st March is the temperature is an average of 0°C or below for seven consecutive days.
Many hospitals have parking concessions for those suffering with cancer. Policies vary from hospital to hospital but mesothelioma patients may be entitled to free or reduced cost parking. Information about this can be obtained at individual hospitals.
If any home adaptations could be done to help make life a little easier, such as stair lift or a ramp, local authorities can provide financial help. Details can be obtained from local councils or from www.direct.gov.uk.