Jersey asbestos cancer sufferers eligible for up to £92k

Asbestos Image copyright Science Photo Library
Image caption Mesothelioma is almost always caused by exposure to asbestos fibres

Jersey residents diagnosed with a rare lung cancer caused by exposure to asbestos are now eligible for up to £92,000 in government compensation.

Anyone who suffers from mesothelioma and was exposed to asbestos on the island can apply to the government.

The scheme, announced in November 2018, brings Jersey in line with the UK, which has had a compensation scheme for more than a decade.

The amount of money allocated will be based on age at diagnosis.

Social Security Minister Deputy Judy Martin said the application process was designed to be "as quick and easy as possible" to ensure anyone with the disease receives the money "without delay".

What is mesothelioma?

This rare form of lung cancer is usually caused by exposure to asbestos - a group of microscopic mineral fibres once commonly used in construction and completely banned in 1999.

Mesothelioma mainly affects the lining of the lungs but can also affect the lining of the tummy, heart or testicles.

When the fibres are inhaled they become trapped in the lungs, gradually damaging them.

It often takes more than 20 years after asbestos exposure for mesothelioma to develop.

Source: NHS

Those aged 37 or under will receive the maximum amount of £92,259, with the amount reducing as applicants get older. Those aged 77 or older will get £14,334.

Close family members of people who have died as a result of the disease can apply too, with the money also staggered based on age at time of death.

They will receive £48,013 for anyone who died aged 37 or younger, down to £7,949 for those 67 or older.

The change came about as a result of the work of campaigner Brian Coutanche, who died from the disease in July 2018 after being exposed to asbestos working in construction for the States of Jersey.

A online petition on the official government website after his death garnered more than 1,300 signatures and led to unanimous approval of the scheme by the States in November.

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