Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
You may be entitled to a weekly benefit payment, called Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB), because you are suffering from a disease caused by your work. IIDB is a state benefit. It is paid by the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) to employees who have been injured at work or suffer industrial diseases caused by work, such as most asbestos-related diseases. It is paid weekly and at an amount determined by how disabled you are by your disease.
How do you qualify for Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit?
In order to qualify for Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB) you have to have a specific disease, listed in the Industrial Injury scheme know as a prescribed disease (PD). A prescribed disease has to be caused by your work as an employee after 5th July 1948. If you were exposed to asbestos before 5th July 1948, you can claim an allowance under the Pneumoconiosis, Byssinosis and Miscellaneous Diseases Benefits Scheme contact the DWP about this.
The prescribed asbestos-related diseases are:
PD D1 Asbestosis
PD D3 Mesothelioma
PD D9 Diffuse Pleural Thickening
PD D8 Lung Cancer with PD D1 Asbestosis
PD D8a Lung Cancer
Although pleural plaque is asbestos related, pleural plaque is not a prescribed disease within the current Industrial Injuries scheme and therefore it is not possible to claim Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit for pleural plaques.
There are specific requirements for diffuse pleural thickening and asbestos-related lung cancer that must be met to qualify for IIDB. For diffuse pleural thickening, the costophrenic angle on the lung must be obliterated on plain X-ray.
For asbestos-related lung cancer, the lung cancer has to be accompanied by asbestosis; or exposure to asbestos must have been in the listed specific occupations for the specified period of time.
The specific occupations are:
- The manufacture of asbestos textiles
- Spraying asbestos
- Asbestos insulation work
- Applying or removing asbestos materials in the course of shipbuilding
The specified period of time required working in the above occupations is:
- 5 years or more (or aggregate of 5 years) where all of the exposure to asbestos occurs before 1st January 1975.
- 10 years or more (or aggregate of 10 years) where the exposure to asbestos occurs after 1st January 1975.
Points about Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit – IIDB
- IIDB can be claimed at any age. You can claim if you are working. You can claim if you have long since retired.
- IIDB is NOT taxable.
- You do NOT have to have paid National Insurance contributions to be eligible for IIDB. It can be paid on top of other National Insurance benefits such as: Contribution based Employment and Support Allowance; Contribution-based Job Seekers Allowance and Retirement Pension.
- IIDB is NOT affected by any other income. It can be paid on top of any amount of earnings, savings or other income – but it can affect means tested benefits such as Income Support, Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit, Pension Credit for example, so you should check with an advice centre or asbestos support group how other benefits will be affected before claiming Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit.
- IIDB is payable from 15 weeks after the onset of the disease. If you have mesothelioma, you do not have to wait for 15 weeks but will be paid from the date from when you were first disabled by the disease.
- IIDB cannot usually be backdated more than three months from the date you were entitled to it. In order not to lose benefit you should claim as soon as you think that you are suffering from an asbestos-related illness caused by your work for an employer.