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Payments for victims of Mesothelioma illness must not be means tested or affect benefits

28 May, 2008

Sinn Féin Health Spokesperson Michelle O'Neill has welcomed the accelerated passage of the Mesothelioma Bill but stated that payments must not be means tested or affect current benefits.

Ms O'Neill said,

"Mesothelioma is a dreadful illness that causes death in a short period of time. Linked with asbestos many people have contracted the disease from industry but many others have been contaminated by washing clothes or being in close contact with someone who worked with asbestos.

"This Bill will help families compensate the victims of Mesothelioma so that they can access services that help deal with the illness and stress associated with it.

"I welcome the fact that GP's diagnoses will be sufficient for people with the disease to qualify for the compensation grant ensuring that further tests are no longer required However the £6000 awarded to victims must not be means tested and that any family already on benefits will not be affected by this grant." Críoch

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