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1.3 For S17 SRCA and ADB: the date of death is significant, not date of injury
The Death benefits payable under both the SRCA and the Defence Act are indexed annually, whereas. the rates of death benefits payable in respect of deaths under former Acts are not indexed (they cannot be indexed as the Acts are now repealed.)
The date of the death of the member or former member therefore determines the maximum amount which is payable, irrespective of when the claim was determined.
The same principle applies to cases of protracted illness leading to death – that the critical date for determination of a death benefit under S17 is the date of death itself. As mentioned in subsection 1.2, the ADB is only payable in cases where the death occurred after 10 June 1997.
Suppose a client had contact with asbestos during service under the 1930 Act, was diagnosed with asbestos related lung disease in 1987 (under the 1971 Act), liability was admitted in 1989 (under the SRCA), there was eventual emergence of mesothelioma in 1996 and death from that disease in March 1998. There is then no claim by the family for the death until 2002. This client's dependant(s), at the date of death, are entitled to be paid for his death at those rates current in March 1998 under S17 of the SRCA. Neither Schedule 1 of the 1930 Act nor S43 of the 1971 Act are relevant to the death. In addition, as the death had occurred after 10 June 1997, the ADB would also be payable.