What is the Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme?
Where your civil claim for compensation for mesothelioma would succeed against an employer but the company no longer exists and insurers cannot be found then substantial payment may be awarded to mesothelioma sufferers on application to the Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme (DMPS). It is a government lead scheme rather than a benefit and funded by the insurance industry. Awards are based on what "average" awards would be in a civil claim and set by tariff.
What is it for?
The scheme is for Mesothelioma, it does not cover other asbestos related diseases.
It covers claims where exposure to asbestos was within employment, where the company no longer exists and their insurers cannot be found.
Most people suffering from mesothelioma were exposed to asbestos at work and should be able to pursue claims against those employers. In many cases, these employers have ceased trading by the time the mesothelioma appears. Providing insurers of the company for the period of employment can be traced, a civil claim can still be made. If insurers cannot be found, it means that a civil claim is not possible and the scheme covers this situation.
How is the award calculated?
The DMPS will make payments according to the age at first diagnosis (the tariff chart is below).
Awards made to dependants generally go to the spouse but if there is more than one dependant the award will be split equally between them.
Will state benefits be deductible from DMPS payments?
When a claim is successful, the scheme will repay any state benefits received as a result of mesothelioma to the government and so this amount will be deducted from any award before it is paid out.
We advise you to apply for state benefits as well as to seek a scheme payment.
Applicant’s legal costs
The tariff figure from the DMPS includes an element of £7,000 to go towards the applicant’s legal costs. We will account to you for costs incurred and ask for payment from you only once the award has been received.
What does an applicant need to prove?
- An applicant will have to prove that they were exposed to asbestos in employment and that the exposure was negligent. The test for negligence is whether the claim would succeed in a civil claim and legal assessment is often required for this.
- The diagnosis of mesothelioma needs to be confirmed. Usually a letter from the hospital or GP with this stated suffices or alternatively the form completed by your Lung Cancer Nurse or treating consultant for the purpose of benefits.
- Proof of having taken steps to find the employer’s insurer but without success is needed. This is usually a negative search of the Employer's Liability Tracing Office (ELTO), but sometimes more is needed,depending on the results.
What evidence is needed?
In every case, the applicant must provide evidence of:
- negligence – this will be your statement
- the employer’s identity – usually this is on your HMRC employment schedule
- medical diagnosis
- that no insurer has been traced – usually a negative search result from ELTO
The Administrator can direct an applicant or a Third Party (such as an insurer) to produce certain kinds of evidence or documents and can impose time limits.
What if the claim is not accepted?
In the event that a claim to the scheme is not successful and their reasoning is not agreed then initially an applicant can ask the scheme administrator for a review. This would be undertaken by a different decision maker. If the decision remains unacceptable then an appeal to the First Tier Tribunal is possible.
If the Administrator considers that there is an insurer who could deal with a civil claim, then you will be expected to postpone or withdraw your application and pursue a civil claim.
Who can apply?
- those diagnosed with mesothelioma
- where someone has died from mesothelioma 'Eligible Dependants' can apply.
'Eligible Dependants' include:
- the spouse / common law spouse
- the deceased’s children (if there is no surviving spouse; provided they are either under 16; or under 21 and not gainfully employed; or permanently incapable of self-support)
- some other relative (who is wholly or mainly dependant on the deceased; and if there is no spouse nor children)
In all cases applications must be made within three years of diagnosis. It is crucial to put the application in as early as possible however, even if all supporting documents are not available.
What if an insurer is found later?
The Administrator can require the applicant (or their estate) to attempt a civil claim against that insurer. If that claim is successful then the DMPS will seek repayment of its outlay from the civil claim.
DMPS scheme payments
|Age of the person with diffuse mesothelioma||Scheme payment|
|40 and under||£271,120|
|90 and over||£87,061|