COAL miners who suffered from osteoarthritis of the knee – sometimes referred to as “miners’ knee” – will now be able claim Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB). The news has been welcomed by Bo’ness MP Michael Connarty.
He urged claimants to go directly to Jobcentre Plus for help with their claims and to avoid paying for solicitors. For more information, call 0845 608 8967.
The Bo’ness MP said:“This is a very welcome step – I want to make sure that everyone eligible in West Lothian knows how to claim and receives the money that they are entitled to.
“It is only right that this help should be available to coal miners who have worked hard all their lives and are now suffering from this painful condition.
“It is also vital people understand they can claim direct through Jobcentre Plus and do not need to pay for the services of solicitors. This will ensure they get all the money they are entitled to.
“To avoid people contacting solicitors unnecessarily, the Government deliberately started accepting claims in advance of today and several thousands have already applied.”
Coal miners who suffer from osteoarthritis of the knee and have worked underground as a miner for ten years or more prior to 1 January 1986, and in some cases after that date, should be able to apply for Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit.
Around 4000 claims have already been received. The Department of Work and Pensions will work to process these as quickly as possible and any payments will be made from the date the claim was received, so that no one will lose any benefit because of processing times.