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20.19.3 Incapacity first starts long after discharge - intervening circumstances


At the other extreme, incapacity for work may first occur many years after discharge. This is to be expected, as many injuries although originally moderate in effect will deteriorate naturally and gradually over the years. For instance, injuries to joints and vertebrae will commonly result in osteoarthritis, a progressive disease.

However for compensation to be payable, the delegate must be satisfied by the medical certification process, that the compensable injury still produces effects and is still the cause of incapacity for work. Clients should be required to disclose their work history, sporting activities, accidents and illnesses since discharge. A standard letter exists to seek such information. Clients should also be required to declare all civilian (State) compensation or common law settlements for their post-discharge injuries. Medical certification should be from a medical specialist (preferably the treating specialist) who has been provided with that post-discharge history.