Asbestos and chemical exposure health check

Last updated: 
23 December 2019

Some work with the Australian Defence Force (ADF) can mean that you may have been exposed to asbestos or other hazardous chemicals. If this happened to you, Defence may pay for you to get a special health test.

What is the special health test

It is a test to check and track the health of people who may have been exposed to asbestos or certain hazardous chemicals.

People who take part in the test will have access to health advice and support.

The health tests are part of Defence's Asbestos and Hazardous Chemicals Exposure Evaluation Scheme (DAHCES). They are performed by Aspen Corporate Health

The test will show if you have an asbestos-related disease or a condition related to exposure to:

  • beryllium
  • cadmium
  • lead
  • certain hazardous chemicals

If you do have a disease or condition, and you believe your military service caused this, you can complete a compensation form.

Civilians may be able to seek compensation from Comcare.

Who can get the test

You may be able to have a test if you suspect you were exposed to certain hazardous chemicals and you are 1 of the following:

  • a current or ex-serving Defence Force member (including a cadet)
  • a current or former Defence civilian employee

You can get a special health test if you were exposed to 1 or more of the following chemicals

These chemicals can take years to affect your health, so you should get the test even if you do not feel sick right now.

What happens at a test

A professional at Aspen Corporate Health will:

  • counsel you
  • assess your health
  • arrange extra tests if you need them

They will then give you a report of their findings.

Depending on the results, the staff at Aspen Corporate Health may want to test you again in 2 to 10 years.

How to get a test

  1. Call the Defence Service Centre on 1800 333 362 and register your details. They will send you an information pack.
  2. When you receive the pack, follow the instructions inside. Aspen Corporate Health will contact you to arrange a medical appointment.
  3. Attend your appointment. The Department of Defence may reimburse you if you travel more than 50km to your appointment

Aspen Corporate Health will give you the results. They will also give you a health monitoring plan if you need one.

How to claim compensation

From us

The Department of Defence runs the DAHCES, and it is separate to the entitlements you can receive from us. Current and former ADF members can claim for compensation and treatment through MyService or using a hard copy form.

Compensation from us depends on when you were injured. 

If you were injured before 1 July 2004, you may be able to receive compensation under the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986 (VEA) or the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation (Defence-related Claims) Act 1988 (DRCA). 

If you were injured on or after 1 July 2004, you may be able to receive compensation under the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA).

From Comcare

If you were not serving in the ADF at the time you believe you were exposed, we encourage you to contact Comcare about compensation.