Industrial injury

What are industrial injuries?

Industrial injuries are injuries, diseases or conditions that a worker sustains or contracts performing their job. If they are the direct result of negligence or breaches of health and safety legislation by employers, a claim may be made for personal injury compensation.

What are the categories of industrial injury?

Industrial injuries fall under two main headings:

  • Diseases and conditions the worker contracted as a result of their work These include breathing problems caused by chemicals, cancer caused by their working environment and deafness caused by continual use of machinery.
  • Work-related accidents including those that occurred as a result of defective machinery, through lack of training on machinery or vehicles, scalds or falls.

If you have suffered an industrial injury you may be eligible for Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB). If you need substantial care because of your condition, your carer could get carer’s allowance.

What is IIDB?

IIDB is available for individuals who:

  • are disabled as a result of a workplace accident;
  • suffer a disease or deafness caused by the workplace or in the course of their work.

The amount you’re entitled to depends on the seriousness of your disability or condition.

Who is eligible for IIDB?

You can claim IIDB if:

  • you were employed at the time of the accident or incident; or
  • you were on an approved employment training scheme or course when the accident or event happened; and
  • the accident which led to the illness and disability happened in England, Wales, Scotland, or Northern Ireland; or
  • in the case of a disease, you were employed and discharging your job-related duties which caused your disease.

If you were self-employed at the time of the accident, you are not eligible for IIDB.

What diseases are eligible under the IIDB?

There is an extensive list of diseases for which IIDB is available, including:

  • Asthma
  • Diseases caused by asbestos exposure
  • Cataracts
  • Anthrax
  • Dermatitis
  • Leukaemia
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Emphysema
  • Lyme Disease
  • Cirrhosis of the Liver
  • Primary carcinoma of the lung
  • Primary carcinoma of the nasopharynx

How much can I receive?

The amount you receive will depend on your level of disability. You will be assessed by an accredited doctor, and the severity of your injury/condition will be rated on a scale from 1 to 100%. Normally, you must be assessed as at least 14% disabled to get the benefit. The current weekly rates range from 20% disability at £33.94 to 100% at £169.70.

Will IIDB affect my other benefits?

You can still receive IIDB if you’re claiming contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance, Incapacity Benefit, contribution-based Jobseeker’s Allowance or State Pension.

However, IIDB will affect the following benefits if you or your partner are claiming them:

  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Pension Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit

It may also affect your council tax reduction.

What other benefits may be received due to industrial accidents or diseases?

You may be entitled to one or more of the following benefits:

Constant Attendance Allowance (CAA) – can be claimed for diseases which resulted in a 100% disability rating which necessitates constant attention and care every day.

Exceptionally Severe Disablement Allowance – (currently £67.90) can be claimed (in addition to CAA) if your disability is of such severity that you are in need of intermediate or exceptional constant care which necessitates a permanent care giving arrangement.

Pneumoconiosis – under the Pneumoconiosis Etc. (Workers’ Compensation) Act 1979, certain dust-related ailments contracted may be eligible for payment. You must already be receiving IIDB for at least one of the listed diseases.

Diffuse mesothelioma payment – you may still be able to get a payment for an asbestos-related illness if you aren’t eligible for compensation under the Pneumoconiosis etc (Workers’ Compensation) Act 1979. You can claim if you came into contact with asbestos: while you were self employed; through a family member, eg, by washing their clothes. There’s a different payment scheme if you were diagnosed with diffuse mesothelioma on or after 25 July 2012. You can apply for this even if you’ve claimed compensation under the Pneumoconiosis etc (Workers’ Compensation) Act 1979.

Reduced Earnings Allowance (REA) is available if you can’t do your usual job or other work with similar pay because of an accident or disease caused by work; and you have a disability or injury which began before 1 October 1990.

When do I claim for benefits?

You should apply for IIBD as soon as possible after an industrial accident even if the injury appears mild. Injuries sometimes manifest themselves at a later date – but if no claim was filed you will be ineligible to claim benefits. In addition, any potential personal injury compensation claim can take years to settle, or to reach a final court hearing if a settlement is not reached.

How do I claim for benefits?

To claim for:

You can also call Barnsley Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB) Centre on 0345 758 5433 and ask them to send you a claim form.

Can I claim compensation for my accident or illness?

If your employer or a work colleague was at fault for your accident or illness, you may be able to claim compensation for your injuries. All workplaces are required by law to have liability insurance for such situations, so any money you claim will be covered by the insurance company rather than directly from your employer.

Article written by...
Nicola Laver LLB
Nicola Laver LLB

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A non-practising solicitor, Nicola is also a fully qualified journalist. For the past 20 years, she has worked as a legal journalist, editor and author.