3.1 Application for redress
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 requirements set out in this topic and include any 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 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.
An application is valid when all required information is provided as outlined in the application form (e.g. personal details and proof of identity) and the statutory declaration at the end of the application is signed and witnessed.
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.
When an application for redress cannot be made
In some circumstances a person is not able to make an application for redress through the Scheme. This includes where the person has a security notice in force, the person will not turn 18 years of age before the Scheme closes, the person is in prison or they have previously made an application for redress under the Scheme.
Additionally, a person cannot lodge an application in the last year the Scheme is operational (2027-28 financial year), all applications for redress must be lodged by 30 June 2027. This is due to the timeframes associated with gathering information to support the Operator to make a considered and informed decision on a person's application.
Proof of identity
The Scheme requires a person and their nominee to provide a level of proof of identity. 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.
Timeframes for submitting an application for redress
Applications for redress must be lodged no later than 12 months before the Scheme's end. The Operator may approve (in writing) an application for redress to be lodged during the last 12 months of the Scheme's operation where there are exceptional circumstances.
You can only make 1 application for redress
A person can only make 1 application for redress under the Scheme. Whether the application is successful or unsuccessful, the person will not be able to make another application for redress under the Scheme unless the person withdraws the application before the Operator makes a decision on their application.
For the purposes of the Scheme, a person making an application for redress is also making a statutory declaration under the Statutory Declarations Act 1959.
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 for redress form 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 a term of 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 that person sign the completed statutory declaration. The witness must also sign the statutory declaration to be valid. Please note that the witness does not need to witness the content of the application form, only the signing of the statutory declaration.
Where the above statutory declaration requirements are not met, a decision on a person's application for redress cannot be made. The Operator may contact the person in writing if such a circumstance occurs.