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7.16.1 Where the Death Results From an Accepted Condition
Where a death results from an injury or disease for which the Commonwealth has already accepted liability, a D2053 claim form is required as it provides details of both the reason for death and the nature of the claimant's dependency on the deceased. If the claim provides confirmation that the death is the result of the accepted condition, in this situation no further investigation into the nexus between the accepted condition and the person's service is necessary.
Investigating the Nexus With ADF service - Deaths after Discharge
Deaths from accepted conditions are often the simplest to determine, because the nexus with the condition alleged to produce the death has already been tested and accepted. However delegates will still have to confirm, on the basis of the death certificate or by means of other medical advice, that the condition (i.e. for which the Commonwealth had previously accepted liability) did indeed cause the death, or at least contributed to the death in a material degree.
The link between accepted condition and death is undertaken primarily by two means:
- scrutinising a copy of the death certificate, which needs to be obtained in all cases, or
- direct communication with, and/or a written report by, the doctor treating the client during his/her last illness (this may only be necessary where the death certificate is not sufficiently specific).
In some (rare) cases, delegates may require further confirmation or explanation as to the relationship between the accepted condition and the official cause of death. This additional medical advice may be required when, for example:
- the degree of contribution of the compensable condition to the cause of death on the death certificate is not clear, and
- the doctor attending the death and signing the death certificate (who may not have been the treating specialist) has given an explanation of that nexus which is unsatisfactory and/or apparently beyond the scope of his/her expertise and specialty.
Having established that the accepted condition was the cause of death or a significant contributor thereto, the delegate then needs to investigate the identity of the 'dependants' in this case, and the degree to which each was 'dependent' upon the deceased member.