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7.16.2 Where Death has pre-dated or Forestalled Any Claim for Injury

Deaths in service

This is the most common circumstance, i.e. where there has been a sudden death.  Alternatively, an aggressive disease may have caused the death of the member while still serving i.e. whilst still receiving free medical treatment and full ADF salary and thus before he/she found it necessary to claim for compensation.

In such cases, payment of compensation following death must be preceded by a full liability investigation and in fact such cases can be regarded as a mere sub-set of the general initial liability process for injury or disease.  However, for 'new' cases involving death by an injury not previously investigated for liability, it is reasonable to use the D2053 claim form for at least the principal dependant (i.e. usually the partner).

Prior to undertaking a full liability investigation it is necessary to determine whether the person claiming was actually a dependant of the deceased (eg. Wife, child etc.) and was economically dependent (or deemed to be so by virtue of living with the member prior to death). If it is determined that the person was not a dependant – for example a parent who was not economically dependent – then the delegate need not continue to investigate whether the death was actually service related.

Deaths after Discharge

For a compensation payment to be payable in respect of a death, the injury or disease must have arisen as a result of ADF service.  That is, the condition which resulted in death must be demonstrated to have satisfied the relevant head of liability.

Having established that the certified cause of death had the required nexus with ADF service, no separate determination on 'initial liability' is necessary, rather the delegate will only determine the claim for compensation for the dependant(s). As outlined above, the delegate must first satisfy themselves that the person claiming is a dependant as defined by the Act. If there person claiming is not a dependant then investigation of 'liability' need not occur.