It has been revealed that thousands of British Navy Veterans, who have been exposed to asbestos during their military services, are being unfairly treated by Ministry of Defence (MoD).
Current laws set have meant that MoD isn’t required to pay compensation for accidents or injuries that were suffered before 1987 this includes veterans who have been exposed to asbestos and developed mesothelioma.
Veterans are entitled to claim war disablement pensions however this is a fraction of the price people outside the military, who have developed the asbestos related cancer, would receive in compensation.
Mesothelioma usually results in death within two years of being diagnosed, and due to the nature of the pension, veterans are not allowed to receive the payment in a large sum.
This means veterans, who have developed the cancer, will have received considerably less money than people outside the military.
Asbestos was a regularly used material during the Second World War and was used as insulation in pipes, which has meant Royal Navy veterans who worked in the boiler rooms were routinely exposed to the asbestos fibres.
It has been estimated that a total of 2,500 Royal Navy veterans will have developed and died from Mesothelioma in the next three decades.
The Royal British Legion charity is demanding the Government amends the balance and offers war veterans the option to receive a large sum payment.
The charity claims that a civilian who has been exposed to asbestos would receive compensation of up to £180,000, whilst a veteran would receive just £31,000 in one year from the war pension.
A MoD spokesperson said: “The War Pensions Scheme provides a tax-free pension and supplementary allowances, along with dependent’s benefits. We are considering whether any further flexibility can be provided for future mesothelioma claimants under this scheme. The Government places great importance on the health and wellbeing of our veterans and we are clear that they should not be disadvantaged as a result of their service.”