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1.5 Other compensation: not claimed or claimed but not determined prior to death
Sub-section 55(1) provides that:
“Where a person who is entitled to make a claim for compensation under this Act dies without making a claim, a claim may be made by the person's personal representative.”
In this context, the reference to a claim for compensation can be read as either a claim for a particular benefit or a claim for 'initial liability' leading to claims for various forms of compensation. These claims may relate to the injury that caused the death or to another service-related injury.
The deceased may have been entitled to but not have claimed compensation for medical expenses, incapacity or permanent impairment payments. For details of how to manage such claims, refer to the Medical Treatment, Incapacity and Permanent Impairment Handbooks
Sub-section 55(2) provides that:
“A claim is not affected by the death of the claimant after the claim was served.”
Thus, a claim that has been submitted before a person's death is still to be processed. The person's death does not negate the claim.
Whether the claim is made by the person's legal representative following the death or is still to be determined after the death, to the extent possible, the claim should be handled in a similar fashion to other claims. There may of course be complications arising because the claimant is no longer alive e.g. it is no longer possible for the claimant to attend a medical examination. However, every effort should be made to reach a decision on the basis of the information available.
If it is not possible to do so, for example because the medical specialist does not have sufficient information about the injury to provide information necessary to make a determination, the claim will need to be rejected.
Where the claim is accepted, section 111 applies – see 1.4 for further information.