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Post Info TOPIC: Claims Relating to Asbestosis


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Claims Relating to Asbestosis

Received this from Paul Nicholson tonight...placed on our forum for your Info:

4.4.11 Claims relating to asbestos exposure while serving on certain RAN vessels Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Claims for Asbestos-Related Conditions: Royal Australian Navy Service 1940-2003 Where any claimant contended exposure to asbestos in the course of service, delegates have previously been required to seek advice confirming the exposure through the Defence Single Access Mechanism (SAM). As part of the subsequent investigation, claimants have been required to complete a questionnaire. The investigative process is often a lengthy one. The Repatriation and Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission has agreed that for those who served on board any of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) ships listed below between 1 January 1940 and 31 December 2003, it no longer necessary to seek case-by-case confirmation of asbestos exposure as it is known that asbestos was likely to be present on those ships during that period. In August 2019, the Repatriation Commission further agreed that, for the purpose of the application of Statements of Principles (SoPs) under the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986, 75 per cent of an individual’s time served on the listed RAN ships between 1 January 1940 and 31 December 2003 will be taken to have been rendered in an enclosed environment containing respirable asbestos fibers. This is relevant because the SoPs for a number of conditions include a factor relating to being in an enclosed environment containing respirable asbestos fibers for a prescribed amount of time. Where 75 per cent of time spent on the listed ships within the relevant period is equal to or greater than the cumulative total time spent in an enclosed environment containing respirable asbestos fibers prescribed by a factor in the SoP for a claimed condition, that SoP factor will to be taken to be met. No additional confirmation of exposure to asbestos is required where the claim is for an asbestos-related condition connected to service aboard any of the vessels listed below, where that service was rendered

4.4.11 Claims relating to asbestos exposure while serving on certain RAN vessels

http://auth-clik.dvastaff.dva.gov.au/print/book/export/html/82522[22/06/2020 9:39:00 AM]

between 1 January 1940 and 31 December 2003 and 75 per cent of the time aboard the vessel meets the relevant enclosed environment SoP factor.

The list of vessels has been provided by the Department of Defence and shows ships on board which members may have been exposed to asbestos during the relevant period.

For any claims which relate to service other than on board any of the listed vessels during the relevant period, the previous policy must still be followed, and a request for confirmation should still be sought via Defence SAM. If a client claims service on a RAN ship not in the below list, please check with the Liability and Service Eligibility [1] policy section before raising a SAM request. It should be noted that while this policy change primarily affects claims by RAN veterans, it applies equally to members of all armed services, i.e. where an Army or Air Force member served aboard a listed ship, there is likewise no need to seek individual confirmation of exposure from Defence. While this policy removes the need to seek confirmation of asbestos exposure in relation to certain claims, a connection between any claimed condition and asbestos exposure must still be established. All the normal legislative requirements must still be met in relation to establishing a connection to service, including ensuring that all components of the relevant SoP factor are met. Further, while this policy is intended to assist in the speedy resolution of claims that meet the requirements set out in the policy, it should not be used as a reason to reject claims. Where a claim does not meet the requirements for acceptance under this policy, other possible avenues, such as other relevant SoP factors, and/or other potential asbestos exposures should be investigated in line with existing claims processing guidelines. The basis of the end date of 31 December 2003 is that the importation and installation of new asbestos components was prohibited after this date. It is understood that in practice, the use of asbestos in RAN vessels was becoming more and more limited by this time. In addition, Navy was directed to remove asbestos from ships by 31 December 2010. Some exposures after this date are known to have occurred, but these are well documented. Similar documentation is likely to exist for any exposures which occurred after 31 December 2003. For this reason, where a claim relates to contended exposure to asbestos after this date, individual confirmation should be sought from Defence. Please note that, where a date range ending with ‘present’ is given in the list below, this reflects only the fact that at the time when the list was provided by the Department of Defence, the vessel was still in RAN service. The last relevant date of service for the purposes of this policy remains 31 December 2003. Further to this, the RAN follows a tradition whereby should a ship be decommissioned its name may be used on subsequent ships. Members tend to refer to the ship without making distinctions as to its commissioning date. So, although a client may have technically served on HMAS Melbourne II or HMAS Melbourne III they would likely consider that they served on the HMAS Melbourne and not make such a distinction clear in their claim. The claimant's date of service will indicate which iteration of the ship they served on.

4.4.11 Claims relating to asbestos exposure while serving on certain RAN vessels.

The List of ships is attached to the main document and can be sent to your email on request.

Many thanks to Paul Nicholson for this information.

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