The Prime Minister is to review the way veterans who have been exposed to asbestos, during their military service are compensated.
Last week Prime Minister David Cameron was questioned by Labour MP Dave Anderson over the unfair treatment former military servicemen were receiving after being diagnosed with asbestos related cancer, mesothelioma.
The current law protects the Ministry of Defence (MoD) from industrial disease compensation claims and personal injury claims for injuries and illnesses caused before 1987.
As a result over 2,500 Royal Navy Veterans, who have been diagnosed with incurable cancer mesothelioma, will be unable to claim compensation and will instead receive war pensions.
This means servicemen who receive the war pension will only be paid £31,000 a year, a fraction of the sum non-servicemen receive in industrial disease compensation claims.
Mr Cameron said: “I’m very grateful to the honourable gentleman for raising this issue, I understand that the Defence Secretary is looking at it, particular groups who have been disadvantaged in some way I’m very happy to go away and look at the points that he makes.”
The Royal British Legion director general, Chris Simpkins responded to Prime Minister’s statement: “We welcome the fact the Prime Minister has said that both he and the Defence Secretary will look into the current situation regarding compensating veterans suffering from cancer as a result of being exposed to asbestos while serving.”
“The fact that veterans could receive around £150,000 less in compensation than their civilian counterparts is a clear breach of the Armed Forces Covenant. We look forward to the Government coming forward with a solution soon.”
Due to people with mesothelioma dying within a year of diagnosis, Mr Anderson has warned that Mr Cameron must respond quickly to changing the way veterans receive compensation.