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Asbestos and Health - Compensation and Damages

Asbestos and mesothelioma

Many people have been exposed to asbestos in the Netherlands in the past, either in their work or in some other way. For example, they may have lived with someone who worked with asbestos, or they were exposed to asbestos pollution, or handled products containing asbestos. Inhaling asbestos fibres can result in mesothelioma (also known as pleural cancer, peritoneal cancer or asbestos cancer) many years later.

The Institute for Asbestos Victims (IAS)

All those who suffer from mesothelioma because they have been exposed to asbestos in the Netherlands can claim compensation from the government. In some cases, the (former) employer will have to pay damages. In both cases, you can get help from the Institute for Asbestos Victims (IAS). This also applies to survivors of asbestos victims, under certain conditions. You can find these conditions on the website www.asbestslachtoffers.nl. For asbestos victims and their survivors, the IAS provides its services free of charge, provided it receives full cooperation throughout the entire procedure.

Compensation?

If you have mesothelioma, you can apply for the standard compensation amount of € 19.201,- by applying to the IAS. This is the amount applicable for 2014; the amount of compensation is indexed annually. The IAS will establish with you how you were exposed to asbestos and will advise the Social Insurance Bank (SVB) about your entitlement to compensation. Based on this advice, the SVB will decide whether or not to award and pay compensation to you.

Damages

The IAS mediates between (former) employers and (former) employees on payment of damages. Agreements have been made for this purpose between the Asbestos Victims Committee, employers’ and employees’ organisations, the Association of Insurers and the government. The (former) employer will pay damages consisting of a standard amount of € 62.124,-. This is the amount applicable for 2014; the amount of damages is indexed annually.

How does the procedure work?

The procedure for asbestos victims with mesothelioma consists of the following steps.

1. The application

You must first register with the IAS: by e-mail (info@asbestslachtoffers.nl), by telephone (+31 (0)79 7507 150) or by completing the reply card in this leaflet. Once you have registered, an IAS officer will phone you to help you fill out the forms. In a second interview (by telephone or at your home) the IAS will establish with you how you were exposed to asbestos. The IAS will then send you the completed forms, which you will be asked to check, sign and return without delay. The IAS will also ask for your authorisation for the collection of medical information and to allow the SVB to take legal steps to recover any damages.

2. Compensation

The IAS will ask the Dutch Mesothelioma Panel (NMP) to confirm that you have been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma. After that, the IAS will advise the SVB whether or not to pay you compensation. If the SVB decides in your favour, you will receive € 19.201,- (amount applicable in 2014). The IAS and the SVB will endeavour to complete the compensation procedure within two months.

3. Damages

If you were exposed to asbestos during your work, you must send a registered letter to your (former) employer holding him liable. For this purpose, you can use the example letter that the IAS will send you. The IAS will subsequently investigate whether your (former) employer can be held liable for the damage to your health, and will mediate between you and your (former) employer or his insurance company. If your employer or his insurance company accepts liability, you will receive € 62.124,- in damages (amount applicable for 2014). The IAS will endeavour to complete the entire procedure within six months.

In order to safeguard your rights it is important that you complete, sign and return the forms to the IAS as soon as possible and send your (former) employer a registered letter stating that you are holding him liable. For this purpose, a sample letter is available from the IAS.

Institute for Asbestos Victims

Social Insurance Bank

Addresses

Stichting Instituut Asbestslachtoffers/Institute for Asbestos Victims
Bredewater 6
P.O. Box 684
2700 AR Zoetermeer
The Netherlands
Telephone: +31 (0)79 7507 150
Fax: +31 (0)79 7507101
E-mail: info@asbestslachtoffers.nl
Website: www.asbestslachtoffers.nl

Sociale Verzekeringsbank
Social Insurance Bank
Laurentiusplein 8
P.O. Box 1244
6040 KE Roermond
The Netherlands
Telephone: +31 (0) 475 368 644
Fax: +31 (0) 475 368 609
E-mail: tas.roermond@svb.nl
Website:www.svb.nl