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No.3 February 2008

Case Study – applications for review after death of a MRCA claimant

8 February 2001 Member X enlisted in the Royal Australian Navy and served up until 23 April 2006.
20 April 2006 Member X lodged a claim under the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA) for malignant neoplasm of the stomach.
23 April 2006 Member X died.
18 September 2006 A delegate of the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission (MRCC) rejected Member X's claim for malignant neoplasm of the stomach.
1 March 2007 Member X’s husband made an application to the Veterans’ Review Board (VRB) for review of the decision dated 18 September 2006. 
25 May 2007 A delegate of the MRCC advised Member X’s husband that the original determination would not be disturbed following internal review.

Was the MRCC delegate’s decision validly made?

The delegate’s determination dated 18 September 2006 was validly made. As Member X had made a claim before she died, the claim survived after her death without the need for a legal personal representative (LPR) to continue the claim (see: section 321(1) of MRCA).

Was the application to the VRB validly made?

When the application to the VRB for review was lodged action needed to be taken to determine:

A practical note for representatives

If a claimant dies before he or she can lodge an application to the VRB for review, the LPR is able to make an application to the VRB for review.

The LPR is the executor of the will or the administrator of the estate of the deceased person.

If the LPR is notified of their right to continue the claim and he or she chooses not to continue the claim or fails to do so within a reasonable time, the MRCC can approve someone else to make an application to the VRB for review.

If a claimant dies before he or she can lodge an application to the VRB for review, the representative should not take any further action without first getting instructions from the LPR.

All Practice Notes