NB: This is the only information in English. All our other written information is in Dutch, including letters and leaflets.
As from 1 January 2023, employees, former employees and self-employed workers without employees suffering from an occupational disease as a result of exposure to hazardous substances can apply to the Dutch Institute for Victims of Occupational Diseases caused by Exposure to Hazardous Substances (ISBG) for financial compensation from the government. The compensation is paid under the Compensation Scheme for Substance-related Occupational Diseases (TSB) and comes to €22,839 (amount applicable for 2023). Currently, compensation can be claimed for the following 3 occupational diseases:
- Asbestos-related lung cancer
- Allergic occupational asthma
- Chronic solvent-induced encephalopathy (CSE, also known as ‘painters’ disease’)
The Compensation Scheme for Substance-related Occupational Diseases (TSB scheme) has been set up by the Minister of Social Affairs and Employment. The aim of the scheme is to give public recognition to victims of occupational diseases. Every year, over 4,000 people die in the Netherlands as a result of unhealthy and unsafe working conditions, which often involve exposure to hazardous substances. Besides health damage, which is often permanent, many people who are ill due to exposure to hazardous substances also have problems claiming compensation for their health damage. Claims for compensation for an occupational disease are complex and take a long time: over 4 years on average, sometimes even 10 years or more. Victims also often have to pay a lot of money in legal fees and other expenses. These costs are not always fully refunded when their claim is acknowledged.
The TSB scheme is an expression of society’s support to victims of occupational diseases and of public recognition of their suffering. Claims need to be handled quickly and without any administrative hassle.
The TBS scheme is not meant to replace legal action victims can take against their employer, former employer or client. In addition to applying for compensation, victims can also start legal proceedings for damages. If damages are awarded, the compensation must be repaid.
The TSB scheme currently covers only a small number of occupational diseases. In the near future, the list will be extended to include other occupational diseases caused by hazardous substances.
The claims procedure
Claims for compensation must be submitted to the ISBG. The ISBG will subsequently look into the claimant’s work history and collect medical information. The claimant will be visited at home to get a full picture of their work history. The medical information and work history will then be submitted for review to the Lexces expert panel, who will judge whether the claimant is suffering from an occupational disease covered by the TSB scheme.
Depending on the outcome of their assessment, they will send a positive or negative opinion to the Social Insurance Bank (SVB). If the SVB’s decision is positive, the claimant will receive the compensation amount.
The entire claims procedure will take between 8 and 12 weeks.
If the claimant disagrees with the decision, they can submit a request for review to the SVB.
The ISBG was founded in 2022 to implement the TSB scheme. It was set up on the initiative of the parties involved with the Institute for Asbestos Victims (IAS): employers’ organisations, trade unions and the Dutch Association of Insurers. There is close personal and administrative cooperation between the IAS and the ISBG.
Asbestos victims suffering from the following occupational diseases can register with the IAS:
- Malignant mesothelioma
The IAS advises the SVB about entitlement to government compensation and mediates between asbestos victims and their employer or former employer or the insurer involved about payment of damages.
If you would like to know more, you can call us on +31 88 303 7330 or email us at email@example.com.