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 up to 30 June 2027.
It is normal to feel nervous or distressed about the idea of applying.
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:
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.
- Download the Redress Nominee Form for more information about what nominees can do on your behalf in the Scheme.
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.
- Complete the statutory declaration and sign it in front of a witness. The witness does not need to look at any of your personal information in the application. They only need to see you complete and sign the declaration, then fill in the witness details and sign it themselves. If you are unable to sign or get your statutory declaration witnessed due to coronavirus-related restrictions or concerns, the Scheme can accept unsigned and unwitnessed statutory declarations until 31 December 2020. You still need to submit the statutory declaration along with your application, even if it is not signed or witnessed.
- Make and keep a copy of your application for your records.
- Apply in your own time and pace; you can complete the application in multiple sessions if you wish.
- Be thorough. While you can provide updates or submit a new application, once a determination is made, you cannot provide any further information or apply again.
Note: For the period 1 March 2020 to 31 December 2020 inclusive, the Scheme can accept and process redress applications where you were unable to sign the statutory declaration or get it witnessed due to coronavirus-related restrictions or concerns. Filling in the whole application form is important, however, this change makes it safer for people to apply for redress during the coronavirus pandemic when it is not always possible to have your statutory declaration signed or witnessed. The Scheme may contact you to confirm that your reason for not having the statutory declaration signed or witnessed was related to the coronavirus pandemic.
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 however, you can choose if this information is provided to relevant institutions. If you don’t want this information to be provided to institutions you must indicate this when prompted at question 58 of the application form.
- When you make an application for redress under the Scheme you will 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 redress application or statutory declaration.
- If you are unable to sign or get your statutory declaration witnessed due to coronavirus-related restrictions or concerns, the Scheme can accept unsigned and unwitnessed statutory declarations until 31 December 2020. The Scheme may contact you to confirm that your reason for not having the statutory declaration signed or witnessed was related to the coronavirus pandemic.
- From 1 January 2021, the Scheme will only be able to accept redress applications submitted with a completed, signed and witnessed statutory declaration.
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 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.
In most cases, we can confirm your identity over the phone. If you need to lodge a document, provide identity documents or have any queries regarding the National Redress Scheme, please contact the National Redress Scheme Information Phone Line on 1800 737 377 from Australia (call charges may apply) or +61 6222 3455 from overseas to discuss your options.
I don't have a CRN
If you do not have a CRN or choose not to use it, please contact the National Redress Scheme Information Phone Line on 1800 737 377 from Australia (call charges may apply) or +61 6222 3455 from overseas to discuss your options. You will be asked to leave a voice mail message and we will return your call as soon as possible.
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, please contact the National Redress Scheme Information Phone Line on 1800 737 377 from Australia or +61 3 6222 3455 from overseas.
Words used on this page
- 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.
- 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.
- The Customer Reference Number used for accessing or verifying a Centrelink account
- Independent Decision Maker
- Independent Decision makers will consider applications for redress. They are highly experienced people from a range of backgrounds.
- 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 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 means acknowledging harm done. The National Redress Scheme provides 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.
- 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.
- To stop an application being considered by the Independent Decision Maker and National Redress Scheme.