A payment scheme for people with asbestos-related cancer has launched in Guernsey.
It will provide a single payment to people living in Guernsey or Alderney who have developed diffuse mesothelioma. Other asbestos-related conditions are not covered by the scheme.
Politicians voted in favour of the scheme in 2019, but plans were put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic. Then, it was finally given the green light in October 2020 once Covid restrictions had been lifted in the Bailiwick.
Guernsey campaigner, Ian Goodwin, says he is thrilled that the scheme has finally been launched.
Ian has mesothelioma and has been fighting for compensation for almost three years.
Ian says his fight for compensation was not for him, but for those whose diagnoses will come after his.
I'm hoping I've done them a good deed, as I say I set out to do what happened now its come to its fruition but it's not for me, it's for the others coming after me. There's going to be a lot of people to come yet and hopefully this will help them in coming years.
Jersey brought in a similar scheme in 2019 and paid out more than £123,000 in its first year.
Though an amendment to Guernsey's legislation is still needed, the scheme will be able to accept claims, as of 1 January 2021.
The use and management of asbestos is now strictly controlled, but it was in use commercially for many years, up to the mid-1980s, and it was decades before the link between asbestos and respiratory disease was established and accepted. Sadly, the use of asbestos has led to people being exposed to asbestos fibres.
People can make an application if they:
Are 18 years or older
Are ordinarily resident in Guernsey or Alderney
Have been exposed to asbestos materials in Guernsey or Alderney
Have a diagnosis of diffuse mesothelioma which has been confirmed by a Specialist Consultant
Payments will vary according to the age at which a person is diagnosed. Applications must be made within 12 months of being diagnosed with diffuse mesothelioma. However, under transitional rules if a person was diagnosed before 1 January 2020, retrospective claims can be accepted until 31 March 2021.
Where a person does not receive a payment prior to their death, their partner or dependent family member can claim instead.
Application forms can be obtained from the Pensions & Allowances team on 732506 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A similar scheme was introduced in Jersey at the end of 2019. In its first year, more than £123,000 was paid out.