2.1 Redress application
To be entitled to redress under the Scheme, a person or their legal nominee must make an application. To be a valid application, it must comply with the Scheme's requirements and include required information.
Making a redress application
For the purposes of the Scheme, a person or their legal nominee can make their application for redress by completing the approved form available from the National Redress Scheme website. A person may also complete their application online through myGov. An application for redress made in any other format will not be accepted.
For an application to be valid under the Scheme a person must:
- submit their application using the National Redress Scheme Application Form (available on the National Redress Scheme website)
- advise where they live
- provide any information and documentation required by the Operator, and
- correctly complete the statutory declaration (in the Application Form) and have it correctly witnessed.
Where a person does not complete the steps above, their application will not be valid and the Operator will be unable to assess their application for redress.
Where a person submits a valid application the Operator can then determine the person's eligibility for redress.
A person who makes an application for redress must not give false or misleading information or documents to the Operator. If they do so, they may be subject to a civil penalty of up to 60 penalty units. Such conduct may also be an offence punishable under the Criminal Code 1995.
Proof of identity
The Scheme requires a person and their nominee to provide a level of proof of identity. This is one of the ways the Scheme protects applicants' personal information.
Where a person has previously established their identity with the Department of Human Services (DHS) such as having a customer reference number (CRN) and as a result has a confirmed identity they will not be required to do this again. A person without a confirmed identity will need to visit their local DHS Service Centre so a staff member can witness their identifying documentation.
DHS uses the Identity Confirmation Model which is based on the minimum identity proofing requirements as outlined in the National Identity Proofing Guidelines and uses 5 objectives when verifying a person's identity. These are to confirm the:
- uniqueness of the identity in the intended context
- claimed identity is legitimate
- operation of the identity in the community over time
- linkage between the identity and the person claiming the identity
- identity is not known to be used fraudulently.
There are support services available to help people through the application process. There are also legal and financial support services to help people consider their options.
For more information on how to confirm your identity, visit the DHS website.
For the purposes of the Scheme, an application for redress must be accompanied by a valid statutory declaration.
When a person or their legal nominee makes a statutory declaration for the purposes of the Scheme, they are declaring that the statements in the application and supporting documents are true. If they intentionally or recklessly make a false statement in their statutory declaration, they can be charged with an offence. The punishment for which is imprisonment for up to 4 years.
To complete the statutory declaration in the application for redress, a person must have someone on the list of authorised witnesses (provided with the form) witness the applicant (or their legal nominee) sign the completed statutory declaration. The witness must also complete all the sections of the statutory declaration and sign it for the statutory declaration to be valid. The witness only needs to witness the signing of the statutory declaration and is not required to read or view the application form.
Where the above statutory declaration requirements are not met an application is not valid, and a decision on a person's application for redress cannot be made. The Operator will contact the person if this occurs.
A person can attach any supporting information relevant to their application, this includes copies of any written testimony they have provided to past schemes or inquiries, including the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, or information regarding prior payments received in relation to the abuse. It is important to complete any part of the application that previous written testimony does not cover. A person can contact the Royal Commission Branch of the Attorney-General's Department at RCrecords@ag.gov.au to request a copy of their Royal Commission records.