Claiming Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
When to claim
If you are injured as a result of an accident you should make a claim if you have been disabled by the accident for two months or over.
If you have been diagnosed with an industrial disease you should make a claim immediately – IIDB can be backdated but only for 3 months from the date of your application.
Completing a claim form
You need to fill in a claim form which you can obtain from your local benefits office, or we can obtain it for you and help you complete it. We do not charge for providing this type of help.
After submitting the forms you may have to attend a medical examination so that an independent doctor can confirm a diagnosis but this is not always necessary with some more serious diseases, such as mesothelioma.
The amount of benefit paid depends on the degree of disability you are suffering. The benefit is paid regardless of what other income or savings you have.
Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit is only paid where the disease has been listed as a "prescribed disease". The most common diseases, such as asbestosis, mesothelioma, silicosis, industrial asthma etc. are all listed as prescribed diseases.
If you have a disease which is gradually getting worse then, (as long as you have not already been assessed as 100% disabled), you can apply to be re-assessed and the amount of your benefit will be increased to reflect your increased disability.
Where a person has died before claiming benefit
It is possible for the family of a deceased person to apply for Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit. The application must be made as soon as possible after the date of the death. The claim is usually made on behalf of the dependant of the deceased such as a surviving spouse/children.
If your condition means that you need care from family or friends you may be able to claim other benefits.
This scheme compensates people whose employers have gone out of business which makes it difficult to bring a legal claim for damages. The scheme is limited to a number of prescribed diseases such as asbestos related diseases and silicosis. Generally they are diseases where there is a long period between the exposure to the substance that causes the disease and the onset of the illness.
A claim under this scheme is made to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). In order to claim under the scheme it is necessary for a claim for Industrial Injury Disablement Benefit to have been accepted by the Benefits Agency first. However, you should not wait until the outcome of that claim before submitting an application under the Pneumoconiosis Scheme.
It is essential that a claim is made under the scheme before any legal proceedings are issued against a former employer unless your legal action had to be abandoned.
It is also possible for dependants of a person who has died from one of the prescribed diseases to claim under this scheme.
We can help you with a claim under the Pneumoconiosis scheme and provide advice as to whether a claim is likely to be successful. We do not charge for this advice.
On 1 October 2008 the government passed the Child Maintenance and Other Payments Act 2008. Under Part 4 of the Act anyone who has been diagnosed with mesothelioma is entitled to apply for a lump sum payment (not just those who were exposed in the workplace as with the Pneumoconiosis scheme).
This means that, for example, wives who washed asbestos-impregnated clothing and the self-employed can claim a payment along the same lines as employees under the Pneumoconiosis scheme. It is also possible for dependants of a mesothelioma victim to claim under the new scheme.
As with the Pneumoconiosis scheme it is essential a claim is made before a legal claim is pursued. The DWP aims to make these payments within 6 weeks of application.
Leigh Day & Co are happy to provide free advice on making an application for a mesothelioma payment.