DEPARTMENT FOR WORK
AND PENSIONS News Release (124/09) issued by COI News Distribution
Service on 15 April 2009
miners suffering from Osteoarthritis of the knee, commonly known
as 'Miners' Knee' will be able to claim help from
the Government, it was announced today.
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, James Purnell confirmed
that osteoarthritis of the knee would be added to the list of
'prescribed diseases' meaning that sufferers would now
be able to apply for State compensation through the Industrial
Injuries Disablement Benefit.
James Purnell, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions said:
"It is right that this help should be available to coal
miners who are suffering from this painful condition following
years of hard work. This disease has made life very difficult for
a large number of retired miners and forced others to end their
working life earlier than planned, so I am pleased that we are now
in a position that we will be able to offer them valuable
Kitty Ussher, DWP Parliamentary Under Secretary is on a visit to
the National Coal Mining Museum in Wakefield today to make the
announcement. She said:
"I'm very pleased that this help is now available to
those miners who, through no fault of their own are afflicted with
this condition. We estimate that thousands of former miners will
now be able to benefit from this aid."
Ministers have decided to act on the recommendation from the
Industrial Injuries Advisory Council, that coal miners with the
disease who have worked underground for ten years or more should
be able to claim Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit.
Symptoms of the disease include pain, swelling, stiffness and
reduced mobility. The change is expected to come into force in
Note to editors
1. "Osteoarthritis of the knee in coal miners" (Cm.
7440 is available from the Stationery Office. Price £5.15, ISBN
978-0-10-174402-7, or from IIAC's website http://www.iiac.org.uk/new/.asp.
2. The Industrial Injuries Advisory council is an independent
statutory body set up in 1946 to advise the Secretary of State for
Social Security on matters relating to the industrial injuries
scheme. This includes making recommendations to Ministers whether
a disease should be added to the list of diseases for which
industrial injuries disablement benefit can be paid
('prescribed diseases'). The Council consists of a
Chairman and about 15 members, including representatives from
employers and from employees.
3. Prescription of a disease means that is covered by the
industrial injuries benefit scheme and that an employed earner who
has contracted the disease through certain jobs work may be able
to get Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit.