BLACK LUNG: Investigation reveals claims made before 2015

WORKERS compensation payout was paid to a black lung sufferer before the 2015 announcement that the disease had returned, according to the ABC.

The life-threatening disease was thought to have been eliminated in Australia until a Queensland case was confirmed last year. As of August 16 the Queensland Government has confirmed 14 cases.

But the ABC found there were four worker's compensation claims for the disease made between 2007 and 2012 - one was accepted and other is still pending.

The ABC is also reporting Queensland Health records found four probably and seven possible cases between 1995 and 2015 during a records audit.

Black lung can be contracted after regular exposure to coal dust. The disease has a long latency period and can take decades for symptoms to emerge.