BELGIUM: Occupational disease compensation claims down slightly

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According to the FMP, claims for compensation for occupational diseases in the private sector fell in 2015 relative to 2014: 8559 claims versus 9545. One out of two claims concerned tendinopathies and carpal tunnel conditions.

About 62% of the claims for compensation were brought by men, of average age 53; the average age for women is 47. Tendinopathies and carpal tunnel conditions, although they declined slightly relative to 2014, still top the list of claims for compensation, with 2835 and 1333 claims respectively. These are followed by back conditions, and articular, osseous and disc disorders.

In 2015, the FMP took more positive decisions (recognition of new cases of occupational disease, again for the private sector) than in 2014: 3374 versus 3182. These decisions included 1052 permanent and 1808 temporary work disabilities, but also 776 decisions for curative care and 51 decisions for the assistance of another person. The latter decisions are always taken further to a prior permanent disability. Note that there are now almost twice as many decisions for temporary disability as for permanent disability. 

Claims by legal beneficiaries (the close family) have continued to decline regularly over the past 10 years (1173 claims in 2015). The average age of the victims at the time of death is 78. The close relatives of 370 of these victims received a positive opinion from the Fund regarding their compensation. The most frequent cases still concern silicosis (181 deaths) and asbestos-related diseases (162 deaths).

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