A SPECIALIST solicitor is urging people suffering with an asbestos-related cancer to apply for support under a new claim scheme due to start next month.

Solicitor Brigitte Chandler has welcomed plans for a new payment scheme for those suffering from mesothelioma, a form of cancer commonly caused by exposure to asbestos.

The Diffuse Mesothelioma scheme will come into force from July 1. It aims to benefit those who have the condition from their working environments, but who cannot claim against their employers as they are no longer exist and no employer liability insurance can be found to cover a claim.

Insurers will be contributing £350m to the scheme over the next 10 years to help the asbestos victims. The Government has been in discussions with insurance companies for months to try and improve the claim system for victims and their families.

Brigitte, who specialises in mesothelioma law, for Charles Lucas and Marshall, has campaigned for more support for those with the condition.

She said: “It can be difficult for small firms and one man bands to be found, so this new scheme will bypass that. “This is good news and the application process is relatively simple. At the moment, two of my clients will be applying and I imagine I’ll get others come forward.”

Those applying need to submit a form and administrators are expected to reach a decision within six weeks. Applicants need to prove they were exposed to asbestos in their employment as a result of their employer’s negligence.

Then they have to show that they have tried to find the employer’s insurers without success.

One of the new scheme’s drawbacks is that it is only available to people diagnosed with meso-thelioma since July 25, 2012.

“This is unfortunate as there are a lot of people who were affected before that,” said Brigitte.

“I think the qualifying date should be further back.

“This is a step in the right direction though and it is good to see the Government has put some pressure on the insurance industry.”

Anyone who wishes to discuss the Diffuse Mesothelioma scheme with Brigitte should call her 01793 511055.