VETERANS with cancer caused by exposure to asbestos during service can choose to receive lump sum compensation of £140,000, as eligibility is extended.
Last year the MoD changed the rules to allow veterans diagnosed with mesothelioma on or after December 16 to have the choice between a one-off, tax-free lump sum or regular, smaller payments.
The department has now extended the eligibility for the lump sums to those diagnosed before that date.
It comes after a plea from the Royal British Legion.
Chris Simpkins, director-general of the RBL, said: ‘We are grateful to the MoD for taking our campaign seriously and, in doing so, providing a fair result to all those who contracted this terrible terminal cancer in the service of their country.’
The War Pensions Scheme is open to veterans diagnosed with diffuse mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos during their military service prior to April 6, 2005. Currently, it provides a pension and supplementary allowances, and a war widow(er)’s pension for an eligible partner, which is paid for life.
Mesothelioma is mainly caused by exposure to asbestos some 40 years or more before diagnosis. Patients often have short life expectancies.