You are here
C10/1997 AMENDMENTS OF THE VETERANS' ENTITLEMENTS ACT 1986 - DEATH DUE TO ACCEPTED DISABILITY
DATE OF ISSUE: 17 FEBRUARY 1997
AMENDMENTS OF THE VETERANS' ENTITLEMENTS ACT 1986 - DEATH DUE TO ACCEPTED DISABILITY
SPECIAL NOTE: This DI is no longer valid and is replaced by DI C04/2005
The Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986 (VEA) has been amended, with Royal Assent on 8 November 1996, to the effect that, where a claim has been lodged on or after 1 June 1994, the dependant of a veteran who dies from a war-caused disability will be eligible for a pension without the need for the service relationship to be re-established.
The VEA previously required that each claim for pension following the death of a veteran be determined having regard to the relationship between the death and the deceased's service. Where the veteran died from an injury or disease that had already been determined by the Repatriation Commission to be war caused, a claim for pension by the dependants needed to re-establish the service relationship. Similar provisions applied to the dependants of members of the Defence Force, members of the Peacekeeping Force and members who rendered hazardous service.
EXPLANATION OF THE CHANGES
The changes to the VEA provide additional grounds upon which a pension may be granted to a dependant for claims lodged on or after 1 June 1994. If the veteran has died from an accepted disability then the death is to be taken to have been war-caused or defence-caused. Sections 120A and 120B do not apply in these cases.
It should be noted that where a condition listed as a cause of death is not an Accepted Disability, but the veteran has an accepted disability which is also a listed factor in the Statement of Principles for the condition which caused death, then the case is to be considered based on the substantial requirements of the SOP. This is illustrated in the following examples.
Example 1:Ischaemic Heart Disease (IHD) is the sole cause of death. Diabetes is
sole AD. If clinical onset of diabetes was AFTER the clinical onset of the IHD, then the requirements of the IHD SOP would not be met in respect of diabetes.
Example 2:IHD is sole cause of death. Diabetes is sole AD.
If clinical onset of diabetes was BEFORE the clinical onset of the IHD, then the requirements of the IHD SOP would be met in respect of diabetes.
ACTION TO BE TAKEN
Deaths resulting from an accepted disability, where the claim was lodged on or after 1 June 1994, are now to be accepted without re-establishing service connection. If Claims Assessors are not sure whether a cause of death listed in Part 1 of a Death Certificate is the same as an accepted disability or if an accepted disability is only listed in Part 2 of a Death certificate, they should seek a medical opinion as to whether the veteran's death was from the accepted disability.
It is suggested that, at least, in the initial implementation of this change to the VEA, State Offices should consider having Claims Assessors confer with their Team Managers when encountering such cases or implement some checks to ensure that there are no problems.