HC Deb 17 June 1997 vol 296 cc139-40W
Mr. Clapham

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many awards have been made to school teachers for asbestos-related disease, including posthumous awards, in each region of the United Kingdom since 1990. [4209]

Mr. Denham

There are four asbestos-related diseases that are prescribed for benefit purposes. A record of the occupation of successful claimants at the onset of the diseases is only available since 1995. The data indicate that there was one award to a teaching professional in 1995 (for mesothelioma, in South West England) and one in 1996 (for asbestosis, in the North of England). Awards for asbestos-related diseases for all occupations totalled 1,327 in 1995 and 1,317 in 1996. Separate information on posthumous awards is not collected.

Changes made in April implemented in full the recommendations of the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council concerning industrial injuries benefit for asbestos-related diseases. These involved an extension of the occupational criteria for mesothelioma with the aim of encouraging more people with the disease to claim and qualify for benefit if they were exposed in any job to a level of asbestos above that commonly found in the environment at large.