Miners Win Arthritis Claim Right

Miners' Knee Injury Compensation

05.05.2009

Thousands of miners forced to retire or live in discomfort due to arthritis of the knee joints have been told they can now claim help from the Government.

The unions claim "Miners' Knee", otherwise known as osteoarthritis of the knee, is caused by years of repetitive work in cramped conditions.

Work and pensions minister James Purnell has announced that Miners' Knee will now be covered by the industrial injuries benefit scheme and that workers who have contracted the disease through certain jobs may be able to get Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit.

Mr Purnell said: "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 financial assistance."

The move comes on the back of recommendations by the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council that coal miners with the disease who have worked underground for over a decade should be able to claim the benefit.

The 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.

Copyright © Press Association 2009

Sallie Booth, a Partner at law firm Irwin Mitchell said: "There is civil litigation ongoing against the government which should now recognise the needs of those miners who suffer with knee injury and compensate them for it. We represent a large number of clients, many of whom suffer from crippling injuries caused as a direct result of poor working practices."