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Comcare's asbestos-related claims management model

Comcare administers two schemes for managing claims made by persons diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases, and their dependants, established by the following enactments:

SRC Act—Claims for workers’ compensation

The SRC Act provides the legislative basis for the Commonwealth’s workers’ compensation scheme. Most asbestos-related claims made under the SRC Act by current and former employees of the Commonwealth and Commonwealth authorities, and their dependants, are managed within Comcare by the Asbestos and Lump Sum Team (see note 1 below).

The Asbestos and Lump Sum Team was set up in 2010 to support injured employees and their families by promptly delivering compensation benefits in response to permanent impairment and dependency claims under the SRC Act.

  • Note 1: From 1 July 2004, the responsibility for determining all claims made under the SRC Act by members of the Australian Defence Force, Reservists, Cadets, Officers or Cadet Instructors and certain other persons was transferred to the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission within the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA). For more information, visit www.dva.gov.au or contact DVA on 133 254 (metropolitan callers), 1800 555 254 (regional callers) or at GeneralEnquiries@dva.gov.au.)

Refer to additional information regarding Asbestos-related workers’ compensation claims.

ARC Act—Claims for compensation or damages

The ARC Act provides for Comcare to assume liability for and manage most asbestos-related claims for compensation or damages by Commonwealth employees and their dependants in respect of an asbestos-related condition suffered by the employee arising from a breach of a common law or statutory duty of care by the Commonwealth or an entity that was a Commonwealth authority when the breach of the duty of care occurred. This includes claims against the Australian Government and, with certain exceptions, its agencies and controlled companies (see note 2 below).

In addition to claims made by Commonwealth employees and their dependants, Comcare manages asbestos-related claims for compensation or damages from other persons who have suffered injury, loss or damage from exposure to asbestos for which the Australian Government may be liable. This may include claims from:

  • former waterside workers
  • contractors and sub-contractors
  • tenants of Australian Government owned and/or constructed premises
  • family members of persons who were themselves exposed through contaminated clothing or other means
  • visitors
  • bystanders
  • dependants of persons in any of these categories.

The Asbestos and Lump Sum team manages claims covered by the ARC Act with legal support and advice provided by Comcare’s dedicated Asbestos & Common Law team. The two teams work closely together to effectively and empathetically manage ARC Act claims. The Asbestos & Common Law team also provides advice to develop Comcare’s policy positions on legal issues affecting the management of these claims.

  • Note 2: Certain Commonwealth employment is not covered by the ARC Act, such as employment by the former Postmaster General’s Department, now the Australian Postal Corporation (Australia Post) and Telstra Corporation Limited (Telstra), which together with their subsidiaries are excluded from the definition of ‘Commonwealth authority’ in the ARC Act. Asbestos-related claims for compensation or damages arising from an alleged breach of a common law or statutory duty of care are managed by Australia Post and/or Telstra and not Comcare.

Refer to additional information regarding Asbestos-related claims for compensation or damages.

Page last updated: 28 Nov 2016