• Conor fights for ex-miners and families hit by rule change on compensation claims for killer disease

    parkside

    Conor is calling on the Government to reverse a “despicable” rule change that makes it harder for ex-miners and their relatives to claim compensation for potentially fatal lung disease.

     

    The St Helens North MP is calling for a rethink from ministers amid fears that former miners and their families could miss out on a vital cash lifeline.

     

    Thousands of miners contracted pneumoconiosis – also known as miner’s lung or black lung – after breathing in coal dust at work.

     

    Under the 1974 Coal Workers Pneumoconiosis Scheme (CWPS), ex-miners, as well as their widows or family members, are able to claim for compensation for their illnesses.

     

    But Mr McGinn has warned that a change in the rules for making compensation claims could affect thousands of families of ex-miners in St Helens and across the region.

     

    The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), which administers the scheme, has ruled that the relatives of deceased miners will be forced to include a Grant of Probate with any compensation claim.

     

    The change will make claiming compensation harder because families are likely to have to pay for solicitor or legal advice to get the Grant of Probate – a legal document which proves they have the right to deal with the deceased miner’s assets and administer their estate.

     

    Mr McGinn has thrown his support behind a House of Commons motion calling for a U-turn on the rule change amid fears that it is a move to cut the cash paid out under the compensation scheme.

     

    Commenting, St Helens North MP Mr McGinn said:

     

    “These changes look like an effort by the Government to cut the amount of compensation paid out under the scheme by making it harder to make a successful claim.

     

    “Thousands of hard working miners and their families have been affected by this awful disease because of the difficult and dangerous job they did, including those who worked in local pits like Parkside.

     

    “ It seems the Government is trying to stop ex-miners and the relatives who look after them getting the compensation they deserve.

     

    “It is a despicable attack on those who are suffering with a terminal illness.  The decision to change the rules should be reversed as a matter of urgency.

    Details and full text of the Early Day Motion that Conor is supporting here:

    https://www.parliament.uk/edm/2016-17/348/