This month we’ve brought you invaluable insights and advice from industry professionals, heart-warming stories from families touched by asbestos disease and a raft of useful information to support our community.
If you would like to share your story with us, or contribute towards our next issue of Justice, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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“Mr. James Cameron of Asbestos Justice dealt with my case for asbestos related pleural thickening.
My former employer’s solicitors tried to argue through obtaining medical reports that my problems were connected to other things rather than the asbestos related condition. Asbestos Justice had the relevant know how to argue my case strongly.
I received just under £100,000.00 of compensation and am able to return for further compensation in the future as I agreed my settlement on a provisional basis. Asbestos Justice advised me on all aspects of my case thoroughly throughout and I cannot recommend them enough for anyone suffering with an asbestos related illness.”
Mr T, Exmouth.
Our printed versions of the October Issue summarise Disability Living Allowances, however this was replaced with Personal Independence Payments on the 8th April 2013. We would like to apologise for any confusion caused by this.
There are numerous state benefits which you may be able to claim if your asbestos related disease was caused whilst in employment. Our trained experts can assist you every step of the way.
Call 0800 038 6767 for expert help & advice
Personal Independence Payments (PIP)
What is it?
PIP helps with some of the extra costs caused by long-term ill-health or disability if you suffer with an asbestos related condition and are aged under 65. This benefit replaced Disability Living Allowance as of 8th April 2013 for disabled people aged between 16 and 64 years of age.
Am I eligible to claim PIP?
You will need to undergo an assessment to work out the level of help you receive. Your award will be assessed regularly to ensure you are receiving the right level of support.
To qualify for PIP, you must:
- be aged 16 to 64
- have a long-term health condition or disability and difficulties with activities related to ‘daily living’ and or mobility (see below)
- be in Great Britain when you claim – there are some exceptions, eg members and family members of the Armed Forces
- have been in Great Britain for at least 2 of the last 3 years
- be a habitual resident in the UK, Ireland, Isle of Man or the Channel Islands
- not be subject to immigration control (unless you’re a sponsored immigrant)
Also, you must have a long-term health condition or disability and have difficulties with activities related to ‘daily living’ and/or mobility.
You must have had these difficulties for 3 months and expect them to last for at least 9 months. If you’re terminally ill (ie not expected to live more than 6 months), you don’t need to have had these difficulties for 3 months.
What will I receive if my application is successful?
Successful applicants for PIP will receive varying amounts of money, made up from 2 component parts, called the “daily living component” and the “mobility component”.
Daily Living Component
This part of the benefit can be paid to asbestos disease sufferers if they:-
require assistance with day to day tasks such as eating and preparing meals, using the toilet, dressing, washing etc.
- are terminally ill
- require supervision to avoid putting themselves and others in substantial danger
- require assistance in preparing or eating food
- experience problems in reading and communicating
- require assistance in managing medicines or treatments
- require assistance about making decisions about money
- experience problems in engaging with other people
The standard rate is £54.45 per week and this can be paid to sufferers who require some light assistance, perhaps with preparing cooked meals..
The enhanced rate of £81.30 per week is payable where an asbestos disease sufferer requires help or supervision throughout the day or night or to those who are suffering with a terminal asbestos related illness such as Mesothelioma. The enhanced rate is payable if you life expectancy is limited to less than 6 months.
This part of the benefit can be paid to asbestos disease sufferers who, when using a normal aid:-
- are unable to walk
- can only walk short distances without suffering severe discomfort
- could become very ill if they try to walk
People may also receive the benefit if they:-
- have not feet or legs
- are assessed as 100% blind and at least 80% deaf and require assistance outdoors
- require supervision when outdoors
- are certified as severely sight impaired
- are severely mentally impaired with behavioural problems and receive the highest rate of care for DLA
The lowest rate payable is £21.55.00 per week and can be paid to sufferers who require general supervision outdoors.
The highest rate payable is £56.75 and can be paid to sufferers who experience severe difficulties in walking.
All sums of benefits will be paid directly into your bank or building society account.
For further information on claiming for PIP, please contact the PIP helpline on :- 0845 850 3322 Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm.
You can also write asking for a form to send the above information by post to:-
Personal Independence Payment New Claims
Post Handling Site B
You will be sent a “How your condition affects you” form to complete with guidance on how to fill this in.
If an asbestos disease sufferer is terminally ill, they can obtain PIP more quickly if they are not expected to live for more than 6 months. Simply phone the DWP to start your PIP claim and then send form DS1500 (obtainable from a healthcare professional) to complete the application.
For further information on claiming Personal Independence Payment, please contact the benefits team at Asbestos Justice on 0800 038 6767.
Each month we’re featuring a Questions and Answers session from an asbestos industry professional.
Richard Clarke is now an asbestos campaigner having previously worked as General Manager for the National Asbestos Helpline.
I’ve recently been exposed to asbestos, what are my options now?
If you’re at all concerned there are two things to consider.
Firstly, make sure the source of exposure is sealed, contained or can be avoided. Your local environmental health department can offer further advice on safe removal or containment of asbestos.
Secondly, inform your GP. Asbestos disease can lay dormant for many decades therefore keeping a record of your exposure and regular check-ups are important.
I live in a UK “hotspot” for asbestos disease. What does this mean?
Certain parts of the UK are worst affected by asbestos due to the nature of the industry in the surrounding area. It mainly affects workers coming into regular contact with asbestos or asbestos products used in trades such as shipbuilding or engineering.
I feel isolated following my diagnosis, where can I turn for help?
There are many support groups and charitable associations able to offer support. Social media has revolutionised national networks of support and is a first port of call for many.
Try reaching out to other people facing the same issues, it’s always useful to share your thoughts and feelings, plus your own experiences may in turn provide support and advice for others in a similar situation.
We dealt with an urgent mesothelioma claim for a 92 year old gentleman called Mr. S who was diagnosed with mesothelioma during June of 2007.
Mr. S worked for Stein Atkinson Limited as a design engineer between 1944 and 1979. The company later traded under the name of Solios Thermal Limited.
His role within the company involved designing furnace equipment which would regularly have to be lined with asbestos materials in order to fireproof the furnaces.
He was often nearby when the manual workers drilled and nailed the asbestos into place resulting in him coming into contact with asbestos dust on a regular basis. Whilst Mr. S never worked directly with asbestos, he was exposed on a passive basis which led to him developing mesothelioma during later life.
The case successfully settled during Mr. S’ lifetime, having been run over a 5 month period. The case was unusual as Mr. S survived with symptoms for over 3 years before sadly passing away due to the condition.
Concerned about asbestos exposure? Call our expert team on 0800 038 6767
Home to some 1500 residential houses and the population of 6,734 in the 1870s, Armley’s residents found themselves living next to what would be the biggest killer of Mesothelioma in the UK.
The nearest school located to the factory was the Armley Board School (later to become Armley Council School, and referred to by the locals as “The Clock School”. The school was built in 1878 at a cost of £13,108 and its clock tower became a “local land mark”.
A former student recalls her memories of the asbestos at school:
“I went to Armley Clock School whose back school yard was only about 10 yards from the open door of Roberts. The dust would fly about and blow into the school yard. I remember some of the kids getting hold of big chunks of it and wrapping it around their chins and pretending to be Santa Claus. No one told us how dangerous it was in those days”
The spine-chilling sense of reality wasn’t apparent for the innocent in those days. They played hand-in-hand with some of nature’s cruellest creations, released by the blind greed of man and manufactured by our own fathers. All were unaware of the evil disguised behind its fluffy exterior. A wolf in sheep’s clothing if you must.
At its most successful period, the factory had employed 250 workers. However, the deadly effects of asbestos exposure began to show between 1931 and 1958. Some 270 workers were too ill to work due to an asbestos related disease and sadly 300 or more have died since.
It was and still is a devastating time for all those living in Armley.
This month we are featuring MESO 2. A trial of Ganetespib with Pemetrexed and cisplatin or Carboplatin for Pleural Mesothelioma.
This trial looks at a drug called Ganetespib alongside standard chemotherapy for mesothelioma in the covering of the lungs. The trial is supported by Cancer Research UK.
In this trial, researchers want to see if they can improve the treatment of Pleural Mesothelioma by adding a drug called Ganetespib.
Ganetespib is a type of biological therapy called a heat shock protein 90 inhibitor. It stops signals that cancer cells use to divide and grow.
The aims of this trial are to:
- Find the best dose of Ganetespib to give alongside Pemetrexed and Cisplatin or Carboplatin
- See how well this combination of drugs works as treatment for Pleural Mesothelioma
This trial is in 2 stages. The first stage is a phase 1 trial. The researchers want find the best dose of Ganetespib to give with Pemetrexed and Cisplatin or Carboplatin. To do this they will give the first 3 people a low dose of Ganetespib with the usual doses of Pemetrexed and Cisplatin or Carboplatin. If they don’t have any problems, the next 3 people have a higher dose of Ganetespib. And so on, until they find the best dose to give. This is called a dose escalation study.
The second stage is a phase 2 trial. It is randomised. The people taking part are put into treatment groups by a computer. Neither you nor your doctor will be able to decide which group you are in.
- Group A have Ganetespib, Pemetrexed and Cisplatin or Carboplatin
- Group B have Pemetrexed and Cisplatin or Carboplatin
You have Ganetespib, Pemetrexed, Cisplatin and Carboplatin as a drip into a vein. You have Pemetrexed and Cisplatin or Carboplatin once every 3 weeks and Ganetespib twice every 3 weeks. Each 3 week period is called a cycle of treatment.You can have up to 6 cycles.
If you are in the group having Ganetespib, after 4 cycles of treatment your doctor may talk to you about continuing with Ganetespib only, if they feel you are benefiting from it.
The researchers will ask for blood samples and a sample of tissue from the biopsy you had to diagnose your mesothelioma. They will use these samples to find out more about mesothelioma and how to treat it. If you don’t want to give these samples for research, you don’t have to. You can still take part in the trial.
Recruitment: Start 21/08/2013
Phase: Phase 1/2
Chief Investigator: Professor Dean Fennell
Full Credit: Cancer Research UK
Jeremy is Co-Director of Bart’s Mesothelioma Research. He is a Consultant in Medical Oncology at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, the Royal London Hospital and the London Chest Hospital.
He qualified in medicine at St George’s Hospital, London in 1989. After training in general medicine and intensive care, he moved to the Royal Marsden Hospital where he treated his first mesothelioma patient.
At the Institute of Cancer Research he undertook doctoral research into paediatric leukaemia and brain tumours. Jeremy moved to Bart’s in 1997 where he has worked closely with Robin Rudd ever since. In 2000 he was awarded the Royal Society of Medicine Sylvia Lawler Prize.
Jeremy is a member of the Board of Directors of the International Mesothelioma Interest Group and numerous other mesothelioma clinical and research groups in the UK and abroad.
Contact Dr Jeremy Steele
Email: jeremy.steele@ bartsandthelondon.nhs.
If you have been diagnosed with an asbestos disease, finding the right help can be difficult. We have compiled a list of some of the UK’s top treatment and trial centres for asbestos diseases.
Many have been recognised for their survival success rates and pioneering treatments, so you’ll always be in safe hands.
Grief is never-ending.
As I prepare to present at the XX World Congress on Safety and Health at Work in Frankfurt, Germany I am reminded of the human cost of inaction.
Since Alan was diagnosed in 2003, an estimated 100,000 Americans have died from preventable asbestos-caused diseases. Worse yet, in the past decade, the USA has imported more than 21,000 metric tons of asbestos, and imports still continue to pollute our country with this deadly substance.
While promising research continues, prevention remains the only cure. I dedicate my presentation “Progress and Challenges in Increasing Worker Safety and
Asbestos Exposure in the Americas” to Alan and the hundreds of thousands of other “Alans.”
Through our stories, we can turn our anger into action, and tell the true story about asbestos as we fight to end this deadly man-made disaster.
Together, change is possible.
Linda Reinstein, President/CEO and
Co-Founder, Asbestos Disease
Awareness Organization (ADAO)