What happens next?

When the National Redress Scheme team receives your application they will give you a call to let you know they have it. At that time they may also ask you for more information if they need it.

An Independent Decision Maker will consider your application for redress. The assessment may take some time to complete. You may want to think about who could give you some support if you need it. This could be someone you already know and trust or Redress Support Services can help. You may also want to think about these steps during this time.

More information on who Independent Decision Makers are can be found here.

Waiting while your application is considered by an Independent Decision Maker

An Independent Decision Maker will consider your application. They are highly experienced people from a range of backgrounds.

The National Redress Scheme provides support to the Independent Decision Maker by:

  • keeping your information safe.
  • asking you for more information when needed.
  • sending some information from your application to the institution. The application explains what information will be shared with the institution. They will send your name, date of birth and the description of the abuse and with your consent, its impact.
  • asking the institution(s) relevant to your application for more information, including their records of the time you were there or if you have received a prior payment. Institution(s) have 8 weeks to provide this information to the National Redress Scheme. If you are ill or elderly they will have 4 weeks to respond.
  • contacting the Police or child protection authorities if they believe there is a risk of ongoing abuse, based on the information in your application. Someone from the National Redress Scheme will contact you to let you know if there is a need to report the abuse.

The Independent Decision Maker is the person that decides if a person can access redress under the National Redress Scheme, and if so, what redress the institution(s) needs to make. To do this, the Independent Decision Maker considers all the information provided in your application and by the institution(s). If they determine that the events are likely to have happened, then an offer of redress will be made.

The time to assess each application will be different, depending on the circumstances.

While your application is being considered, please contact the National Redress Scheme on 1800 737 377 if:

  • your contact details change
  • you want to add more information or change your application — you can do this at any time up until the Independent Decision Maker makes a determination on your application

You can withdraw your application any time up until a determination on your application is made.

Receiving the Offer Letter

The National Redress Scheme will call you and send you a letter about the outcome of your application. If your application for redress is approved, you will receive an offer letter. The offer letter will:

  • explain the three components of redress: counselling, a Redress payment and a direct personal response
  • specify the amount of redress payment (less the amount of any advance payment, if you were eligible to receive this)
  • explain whether you will receive access to counselling and psychological services, or a payment to allow you to access those services privately (and if so, the amount of that payment)
  • specify the participating institution(s) found responsible (and if applicable, not responsible) for providing redress
  • specify if any responsible institution(s) is part of a participating group, and if so, who their associates are
  • explain how the direct personal response from the institution(s) can be arranged (if you wish to do this). When you are ready you can contact the institution(s) to begin the direct personal response process. You can request this at any time during the life of the Scheme
  • explain the effect of accepting an offer, that is, that you will be releasing responsible participating institution(s), their officials, and any associates, from civil liability
  • provide information about free and confidential legal and financial services that can help you consider the offer
  • explain how to accept or decline the offer, request an extension to the acceptance period, or seek a review of the decision, and
  • provide the date when you need to tell the Scheme about your decision to accept or decline the offer

Deciding whether to accept or decline an offer

The National Redress Scheme team will call you and send you a letter about the outcome of your application.

Accepting an offer

To accept an offer of redress, you or your legal nominee need to sign, date and return the acceptance document to the National Redress Scheme. This needs to be done within 6 months of the date on the offer letter. You can ask for more time to decide by calling the National Redress Scheme on 1800 737 377. If you do ask for more time, the review period will also be extended.

The National Redress Scheme will contact you when you have 30 days left to accept an offer, to see if you need more time. The acceptance document will:

  • say which parts of the offer you want, and
  • have a legally binding agreement saying that you will take no further civil action against the responsible institution, its officials and any institutions it is associated with. This does not include the person or people that abused you. 

It is recommended that you get free and confidential legal advice from knowmore before signing the acceptance document. This service will help you understand the options available to you. You can contact knowmore on 1800 605 762 or by visiting the knowmore website(link is external).

The National Redress Scheme will also ask you to confirm your bank account details if they have changed.  When you accept the offer of a redress payment, you will also be asked to complete a ‘Redress Payment Choice form’ that is sent with your offer letter.  You can choose to be paid your redress payment to your nominated bank account either as:

  • a single lump sum, 
  • by instalments, or 
  • a combination of both - an upfront lump sum, with the remainder paid by instalments.  

When the National Redress Scheme receives the signed and dated Acceptance Document, it will write to you to confirm your redress payment is made into the nominated bank account. This letter will also include:

  • contact information for counselling and psychological care if you accept this redress component, and
  • contact information for each relevant responsible institution who will deliver your direct personal response. You will need to contact the institution when you are ready to start the process. If you chose to receive payments by instalments, the letter will also include a schedule of when redress payments will be made.

How do I get an extension for the acceptance period?

You need to contact the National Redress Scheme if you require more time to decide because of exceptional circumstances. Exceptional circumstances may include if:

  • You are very ill during the acceptance period; or
  • You live in a remote community where there has been a delay in transit of letters.

You cannot ask for an extension after the 6 months period has ended.

Declining an offer

You can decline an offer by filling in and returning to the National Redress Scheme, the ‘Declining the offer of redress form’, or you can do nothing.

If the National Redress Scheme does not hear from you within the 6 month acceptance period, it will assume that you have declined your offer.

If you decline your offer you will not be able to apply to the National Redress Scheme again.

If you decline your offer and received an advance payment, that amount will have to be paid back to the Government.

Asking for a review

If you do not agree with the outcome you can request a review. You can only ask for a review by filling in the ‘Application for Review of Determination form’ sent to you with your outcome letter. The National Redress Scheme cannot accept a request made over the phone.

A different Independent Decision Maker from the one who made the original decision will do the review. You will not be able to provide additional information.

The new Independent Decision Maker may keep the original decision or make a new decision. This means your offer could stay the same, it may be more or it may be less. It may also result in a different decision about your eligibility. If you were previously ineligible, the review may also find you eligible.

The Scheme will call you to let you know the outcome of your review before it is finalised in writing. During this call, or at anytime before the Scheme writes to you, you can withdraw your application for review, including where the outcome of your review makes you worse off.

When the Scheme writes to you with your review outcome:

  • If your offer stays the same, you will have 2 months to accept or decline the offer.
  • If your offer changes, you will have 6 months to either accept or decline your offer and the previous offer will be withdrawn. If you need more time, you can request an extension.

Institutions cannot request a review of redress decisions.

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.
People can apply for this as part of the National Redress Scheme. Depending on where people live they will receive a lump sum to pay for services in their local area or a referral to services.
Direct Personal Response (DPR)
People who receive an offer of redress can request a direct personal response from the responsible institution. People may request a face-to-face meeting, either individually or in a group, a written letter, a public apology, or other arrangements depending on their circumstances.
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.
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.
A person nominated to act on behalf of a person applying for redress. They need to fill in the Redress Nominee Form.
Redress means acknowledging harm done. The National Redress Scheme provides counselling, a direct personal response and a Redress payment.
If you do not agree with a decision we make, you can ask us to look at it again. This is done by a different Independent Decision Maker.
The National Redress Scheme for people who experienced institutional child sexual abuse. See National Redress Scheme.
To stop an application being considered by the Independent Decision Maker and National Redress Scheme.