2.3 Applying for redress under 18 years of age
A person who is under 18 years of age can submit an application for redress if they will turn 18 years of age before the Scheme closes on 30 June 2028. The Operator cannot make a decision on a person's application until they are 18 years of age.
The purpose of this is to avoid children having to make important legal decisions about their future before they are old enough to understand all of their options.
Where a person lodges their application more than 4 months before their 18th birthday, the child, or their nominee, can elect to:
- withdraw their application, or
- have a preliminary assessment of their application and their application held until the child turns 18.
If the child, or their nominee, elects to have a preliminary assessment, this involves an assessment being undertaken of the child's possible eligibility and an estimate of the amount of redress payment and counselling and psychological care they could access when they turn 18. The assessment process includes requesting information from the relevant institution/s. The child and the institution/s will be notified of the preliminary outcome.
This process ensures that any records relating to the child are preserved and mitigates against the risk those records may otherwise be destroyed, or lost, by the time the child is eligible to receive a redress determination.
At least 3 months, but not more than 6 months, before the child's 18th birthday, the Operator must advise the child that:
- a decision on their application will be made as soon as practicable after they turn 18, and
- they can provide the Operator with any further information that will support the Operator to make a decision on their application.
The institution/s will also be invited to provide further information. A final determination will be made as soon as practicable after the child turns 18.
Where a person lodges their application within 4 months of their 18th birthday, their application will be processed as normal.
A person who will not turn 18 years of age before the Scheme closes on 30 June 2028 is not able to submit an application for redress.
Where a person lodges their application in the year before the Scheme closes on 30 June 2028, they will need to seek the Operator's permission to lodge under the exceptional circumstances arrangements.