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2.1.3 Where death occurs without any prior claim for injury
Where a D9182 is lodged and the deceased had no prior claim for a disease or injury which contributed to the death, that is, a 'new' case involving death by an injury not previously investigated for liability, payment of compensation must be preceded by a full liability investigation. Such cases follow the same general initial liability process for injury or disease, and the D9182 must be lodged.
A grieving spouse may not be in a position to deal with the Commonwealth's paperwork immediately after the death. Nevertheless, the advancement of claims for death (and the provision of financial support to dependants as soon as possible) has the highest of all of the MRCC's priorities. In such circumstances, a delegate should be prepared to advance the investigation and the D9182 facilitates this process.
Claims relating to a death (i.e. 'injuries resulting in death') initially resemble other claims for injury or disease. The processing and investigation of new injury and disease claims is dealt with at length in the 'Initial Liability' chapter of this Handbook. Delegates should first turn to that chapter and follow those procedures, so as to establish whether there is a sufficient nexus between the death and ADF employment to determine 'liability'.
Delegates are reminded that it is DVA policy to take every appropriate action to avoid unecessary duplication of claims and, as much as possible, to simply the claims process for bereaved family members. There is no capacity to register a Permanent Impairment (PI) investigation, determiantion or payment once a death claim has been opened. Therefore, a separate liability claim record and determination may be registered to enable the PI claim to be processed and s24 payments made.
The PI liability investigation may rely on the connection to service established through investigating the death claim.
It will still be necessary for a specialist to ascertain a level of impairment prior to the client’s death. Obviously the client can no longer be examined, estimates will, therefore, have to be made on the basis of any earlier assessments undertaken (if possible).
It is also important to remember that while section 55 of the SRCA does not prevent a posthumous claim being lodged by a person with the appropriate authority to do so, subsection 55(4) is very clear that no payment can be made against the claim for non-economic loss (s27) after the person’s death.