Thinking about applying

This section has information for people who have experienced institutional child sexual abuse who are thinking about applying to the National Redress Scheme.

You can apply to the National Redress Scheme between 1 July 2018 and 30 June 2027.

It is normal to feel nervous or distressed about the idea of applying. It is also a normal response to trauma to feel like you are not coping at times.

We have designed the process hoping it will not cause further distress. But there still might be times when this process may be difficult.

You may want to think about talking to someone you know and trust to give you support. You can also get support through the Redress Support Services. These services can provide you with emotional support, support to apply, legal advice, or help with managing your financial situation.

The steps are:

  1. Deciding to apply
  2. Filling in the application
  3. Confirming your identity

If you would rather chat to someone than read this website you can call the National Redress Scheme on 1800 737 377.

Deciding to apply

This information might help you to decide whether or not to apply:

  • Who can apply?
  • You can only apply for the Scheme once.
  • If the National Redress Scheme or civil litigation is the best option for you (you can't have both).
  • How a redress payment might affect your finances.
  • If you are ill or elderly your application can be actioned quickly so you can receive redress as soon as possible.
  • You can withdraw your application up until an offer is made.
  • How your information will be used and protected.

Filling in the application

It's your choice how you apply. You can apply online or by paper. You won’t be asked about your experience in front of a person or panel.

You can also get a copy by calling 1800 737 377 and getting an application sent to you or asking a Redress Support Service for one.

  • You can apply online through myGov. You can create a myGov account at any time if you don’t already have one.

Before you apply you might like to think about who could give you support to apply if you would like it. You could speak to someone you already know and trust or Redress Support Services can help.

If someone legally applies on your behalf or acts on your behalf for the purposes of the Scheme they need to fill in a nominee form.

If you have any questions about the Application for Redress please call the National Redress Scheme on 1800 737 377. If you are overseas, please call +61 3 6222 3455 and ask to speak to someone from the National Redress Scheme.

To apply you need to:

  • Decide if you prefer to apply online or by paper. They ask the same questions.
  • Complete all three parts of the application. You can attach copies of supporting documents if you have them, but you will still need to complete the application.
  • Confirm your identity.
  • Sign the statutory declaration in front of a witness. The witness does not need to look at any of your answers. They only need to see you sign the declaration then sign it themselves.
  • Make and keep a copy of your application for your records.
  • Apply in your own time and pace; you can only make one application for redress under the Scheme.

The Application for Redress is made up of the following:

Part 1 asks personal information

This section asks for information about:

  • your name, date of birth and contact details
  • your eligibility for the Scheme
  • your identity

You need to answer all of the questions in Part 1.

Part 2 asks about your experience of sexual abuse

This section asks questions about your experience of child sexual abuse and non-sexual abuse, please:

  • write about the institution responsible for bringing you into contact with the person or people who abused you
  • if you were abused in more than one institution, please include each one separately in this application
  • answer with as much detail as you can

Part 3 asks about the impact sexual abuse has had across your life

You need to answer this question. You only need to write about the impact once.

Statutory declaration

When you make an application for redress under the Scheme you need to make a statement that the information you are providing is true, and any documents attached are true copies of the originals.

To do this, you will need to sign the statutory declaration and have it witnessed. The witness only needs to see you sign, they do not need to read your application.

Some people who can witness a statutory declaration are doctors, lawyers, justices of the peace or pharmacists. A full list of people that can witness your statutory declaration is included with the statutory declaration.

It is an offence to make a false statement in a statutory declaration.

Checklist

There is a checklist at the back of the application so you can make sure your application is complete.

The Scheme will create one unique identification number that will be attached to your application, known as a Redress ID.

Please keep this handy as it will help if you need to make changes or ask questions about your application.

Getting help to apply or having someone else apply for you

Under the National Redress Scheme, there are two ways of getting help to apply or having someone else apply for you. They are having a legal nominee or an assistance nominee.

A nominee is a person or an organisation who can act on your behalf with the National Redress Scheme. A nominee may be a person or an organisation.

If you already have an enduring power of attorney or guardianship arrangement in place, that person can apply to the National Redress Scheme on your behalf and accept or decline an offer of redress. This person is called a legal nominee.

An assistance nominee can be appointed if both you and the nominee consent to the appointment. An assistance nominee will be able to do anything that can be done by you except for making an application for redress, accepting an offer of redress, and declining an offer of redress.

If you choose to have a nominee regardless of type, they must fill in the Redress Nominee Form.

Confirm your identity

Confirming your identity is one way your privacy and information is protected. There are options for confirming your identity for the National Redress Scheme.

Using your Centrelink Customer Reference Number (CRN)

If you choose to use your CRN, the National Redress Scheme team will call you to ask some questions about your identity and to discuss next steps.

I don't have a CRN

If you do not have a CRN or choose not to use it, you need to visit a Centrelink service centre. The National Redress Scheme team will let you know what documents you will need to take with you. At least one of these documents must have a photo of you. All documents must be original. This means that copies or certified copies or expired documents will not be accepted.

You can find out more information about the documents that can confirm your identity on the Department of Human Services website.

The validity of your documents will be checked with the authority that issued them. When you provide these documents, you are agreeing to your documents being validated in this way.

You can find your nearest Centrelink service centre on the Department of Human Services website.

What if I don't have identity documents

It may be difficult for some people to confirm their identity, if you are finding it hard to find your identity documents or to visit a Centrelink service centre, please contact us on 1800 737 377. If you are calling from overseas please call +61 3 6222 3455 and ask to speak to someone from the National Redress Scheme. You can find your nearest Centrelink service centre on the Department of Human Services website.

Words used on this page

Application
The application is available online or by paper. You can make an application at any time between now and 30 June 2027.
Assistance nominee
You can ask someone to help you apply to the National Redress Scheme. This person is called an Assistance Nominee. They need to fill in an Assistance Nominee form.
Child
A child is a person under the age of 18.
Child Sexual Abuse
Under the Scheme, child sexual abuse is when someone involves a person under the age of 18 in sexual activities that they do not understand, or that are against community standards.
CRN
The Customer Reference Number used for accessing or verifying a Centrelink account
Independent Decision Maker
Independent Decision makers will consider applications for redress. They will be highly experienced people from a range of backgrounds. They will not have any connection to participating institutions.
Institution
An institution means an organisation, such as a school, a church, parish, mission, a club, an orphanage or Children’s Home; or government department.
Institutional Child Sexual Abuse
When the child sexual abuse occurred, for example, on the premises of an institution, or where activities of an institution took place (such as a camp), or by an official of an institution.
Legal Nominee
A person who can apply for and accept an offer of redress on your behalf. For example, a power of attorney. They need to fill in the Redress Nominee Form.
myGov
myGov is a secure way to access government services online with one login and one password.
National Redress Scheme
The Australian Government set up the National Redress Scheme to provide redress to people who experienced institutional child sexual abuse. The offer of redress can include: access to counselling, a redress payment and a direct personal response.
Non-sexual abuse
Includes physical abuse, psychological abuse and neglect.
Redress
Redress means acknowledging harm done. The National Redress Scheme will provide redress by providing access to counselling, a direct personal response and a redress payment.
Related non-sexual abuse
Includes physical abuse, psychological abuse and neglect related to the occurrence of sexual abuse.
Scheme
The National Redress Scheme for people who experienced institutional child sexual abuse. See National Redress Scheme.
Statutory declaration
A written statement that you are providing true information. This is signed in front of an authorised witness.
Withdraw
To stop an application being considered by the Independent Decision Maker and National Redress Scheme.