5.2 Counselling & psychological care under the Scheme

Introduction

Access to counselling and psychological care is one of the 3 components of redress provided through the National Redress Scheme. Depending on the jurisdiction in which a person lives when making their application, this component may be provided as either access to counselling and psychological services, or a counselling and psychological care payment (separate to the redress payment) of up to $5,000.

What does the counselling & psychological care component of redress include?

Depending on where a person applying for redress is living at the time they make their application, the counselling and psychological component of redress may be offered as either:

  • A payment of up to $5,000, which the person can use to access counselling and psychological services.
  • Access to counselling and psychological services provided under the Scheme, within the jurisdiction where the person is living. For this to be offered, a participating State or Territory must be a declared provider of counselling and psychological services under the Scheme. The person may receive a minimum of 20 hours of services over their lifetime.

If the Scheme approves a person's application for redress, they must provide a written offer of redress. This offer must specify the form of the counselling and psychological component of redress offered. If the form is a payment, the amount will be specified. A person cannot choose or request the counselling and psychological component to be provided in a form other than offered by the Operator.

When can a person access counselling & psychological care under the Scheme?

If a person wishes to receive their offer for either access to services or a payment, they will need to advise the Scheme in their acceptance document. The Scheme will either pay a person entitled to redress with a counselling and psychological care payment, or provide access to counselling and psychological services through the relevant jurisdiction following acceptance of a redress offer.

If the person lives in a state or territory that is a declared provider of counselling and psychological services, the Scheme will provide the person with a referral allowing them to access counselling and psychological services provided by that state or territory. Currently, entitled people living in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory will be referred to counselling and psychological services provided by that jurisdiction.

If the person does not live in a state or territory that is a declared provider of counselling and psychological services, currently Western Australia and South Australia, or lives overseas, the person must nominate an account they hold with a financial institution into which their redress payment (if applicable) and their counselling and psychological services payment can be paid.

A person cannot change their counselling entitlement if they move to another State or Territory (jurisdiction) or overseas after a final determination has been made on their application. For example, a person cannot access counselling and psychological services if they have received an offer of a payment and vice versa.

If a person moves from a jurisdiction offering services they can request for the jurisdiction to:

  • provide telephone and/or internet services, or
  • arrange a transfer to another jurisdiction delivering services in accordance with any agreements entered into between those jurisdictions.

Jurisdictions offering services can also establish their own arrangements with other jurisdictions offering services for the transfer of people who move between the jurisdictions.

Payment amount of counselling & psychological services

The amount payable to a person for counselling and psychological services, or the amount payable to a jurisdiction to provide a person with counselling and psychological services is dependent on a person's individual circumstances. The table below, from the NRS Assessment Framework, provides an indication of the amount for counselling and psychological services payable under the Scheme.

  Column 1
Kind of sexual abuse of the person
Column 2
Amount of the component
1 Penetrative abuse $5,000
2 Contact abuse $2,500
3 Exposure abuse $1,250

Declared providers of counselling & psychological services

Access to counselling and psychological services will be offered by the jurisdiction in which the person lives where that jurisdiction is a declared provider of these services under the Scheme.

To become a declared provider of counselling and psychological services under the Scheme, a participating jurisdiction must make a written request to the Minister that specifies the following:

  • The jurisdiction wishes to provide for the delivery of counselling and psychological services under the Scheme, and be made a declared provider allowing them to provide for the delivery of services.
  • Arrangements are in place in that jurisdiction to deliver these services in accordance with the National Service Standards set out in the National Redress Scheme Agreement.

The Minister must then make a declaration, by notifiable instrument, that the jurisdiction is a declared provider of counselling and psychological services under the Scheme. The Minister can later revoke this declaration at the request of the participating jurisdiction.

If a jurisdiction is a declared provider, the Commonwealth will provide them with a financial contribution for providing counselling and psychological services under the Scheme.

Where a State or Territory government has elected to provide counselling and psychological services, they will be required to abide by the National Service Standards for the Provision of State and/or Territory Based Counselling and Psychological Care under Schedule C of the National Redress Scheme Agreement. One of the standards is that a minimum of 20 hours of counselling and psychological services must be provided to an eligible person, over the course of their lifetime.

Act reference: NRSAct Part 2-2 Division 2 Entitlement to redress under the scheme, Part 2-3 Division 4 The Operator must determine whether to approve the application, Part 2-5 Division 3 Counselling and psychological component of redress, Part 5-3 Division 3 Participating jurisdictions providing counselling and psychological services under the scheme

NRS Rules section 21 Requirement if there is only one set of abuse

NRS Assessment Framework section 6 Amount of counselling and psychological component of redress

In this chapter

This chapter contains the following sections:
Last reviewed: 1 July 2019