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4.1.4 Investigation strategy
Little direct guidance can be given in relation to the way an investigation into the number and status of 'dependants' is to be conducted. Each case will have its own unique characteristics and demands. However, it is fair to say that in the majority of cases, the delegate will be reliant upon informants from the deceased's family – primarily the spouse, if resident with the employee at the time of death. Any or all of those family members may have a financial interest in the outcome of the disclosure. Delegates should therefore use the 'death claim form' from the Defcare Standard Letters suite to obtain written, signed declarations from key informants about ALL persons who were known to be dependent on the employee, i.e. for financial support.
Where the member was still serving in the ADF at the time of death, the delegate will be able to access independent evidence of other dependants, by having the ADF report the following from the deceased employee's personnel file:
- whether the employee made regular/continuing allocations from his/her pay, and if so, to whom
- whether the employee's pay was 'garnisheed' with orders in respect to a claim for support by any individual
- whether the employee made payments to the Child Support Agency.