The history of compensation and changes in compensation for occupational lung diseases occurring in the United Kingdom (UK) were discussed. Occupational lung diseases currently eligible for compensation include coal workers' pneumoconiosis (CWP), asbestosis, primary lung carcinoma accompanying asbestosis, bilateral pleural thickening accompanying asbestosis, silicosis, diffuse mesothelioma, byssinosis, and occupational asthma. Silicosis was the first occupational lung disease to be made compensable, in 1919. Primary lung cancer and bilateral pleural thickening accompanying asbestosis, which are regarded as being complications of asbestosis, were the most recent additions to the compensable disease list, being added in 1986. Changes in compensation for silicosis, CWP, asbestosis, asbestos (1332214) related lung carcinoma and pleural thickening occurring from 1954 through 1987 were discussed. The number of compensable cases of silicosis and CWP have decreased continuously and the number of cases of asbestos related diseases have increased over the study period. In the case of CWP and silicosis, disease severity when first detected decreased and age at diagnosis increased over the 34 year period. A total of 247 cases of asbestosis were compensated in 1987 versus 31 in 1954. Analyses of compensated asbestos related lung carcinoma for the period 1985 through 1987 showed a sharp increase from 8 to 55 cases, respectively. The number of compensated cases of bilateral diffuse pleural thickening increased from 61 in 1985 to 115 in 1987.