People who are exposed to asbestos and develop asbestosis are entitled to financial compensation for immaterial damage from the Dutch government as from 1 April 2014.  Formerly, only people who suffered from mesothelioma were entitled to financial compensation from the Dutch government. Awards will be made pursuant to an extension of the existing Dutch regulations, which are the Asbestos Victims Compensation Payments Regulations (Regeling Tegemoetkoming Asbestslachtoffers, "TAS") [2] and the Non-employment Related Victims Compensation Payments Regulations (Regeling Tegemoetkoming Niet-loondienstgerelateerde Slachtoffers van mesothelioom en abestose, "TNS") [3].

The sole cause of asbestosis is intensive and prolonged exposure to asbestos.  The disease is chronic and only manifests itself after at least 15 years from inhalation of the asbestos fibres.  At the end of 2013 an agreement was reached on expansion of the Agreement of the Asbestos Victims Institution (Convenant van het Instituut Asbestslachtoffers, "IAS").  Agreements were made, inter alia, regarding the amount of the financial compensation available for this specific group of victims.  The financial compensation in respect of immaterial damage amounts to 19,201 Euros.  This amount is equal to the compensation to which mesothelioma victims are entitled. Under certain conditions, financial compensation of 55,000 Euros is also possible.

In order successfully to claim financial compensation for immaterial damages as a result of asbestosis, certain conditions have to be met.  First, it must be determined that the person concerned suffered a prolonged and intensive exposure to asbestos.  Secondly, the diagnosis of asbestosis has to be established and the lung function has to be severely diminished.  In addition, victims suffering from non-employment related asbestosis have to prove that they have lived in the Netherlands for a minimum of 10 continuous years during the period of asbestos contamination.  Asbestosis victims have to register themselves at the IAS, which in turn advises the Dutch Social Insurance Bank (Sociale Verzekeringsbank(SVB)).  The SVB then decides whether or not someone is entitled to this financial compensation.

It is important to note that payments made under the TAS and TNS Regulations should be seen as an expression of social engagement rather than a replacement of the (possible) compensation by a liable party.