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3.1 Deaths after Discharge - Liability Previously Accepted for Cause
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) resulted in death.
A separate D2020 claim form is not required in respect of the death as liability has already been accepted in respect of the 'injury' which has now resulted in death. Delegates are provided with a specific claim form for funeral expenses and death compensation (D9182), presented as one of the standard letters in the Defcare Standard Letter database. This claim form has been designed primarily to cope with the typical 'nuclear family' situation where the informant will be a spouse living with the client at the time of death. The form acknowledging entitlement and acceptance of payment at the end of the assessment process is deemed to be a sufficient application for the death lump sum.
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, and
- 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 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:
1.the degree of contribution of the compensable condition to the cause of death on the death certificate is not clear, and
2.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 employee