2.1 Redress application
To be able to access redress under the Scheme, a person or their legal nominee must make an application. To be a valid application, it must be made using the Scheme's approved form 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:
- complete and submit their application using the Application for Redress form available on the National Redress Scheme website, or online through myGov
- advise where they live, and
- provide any information and documentation required by the Operator.
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 Act 1995.
There are support services available to help people through the application process, including completing the application form. There are also legal and financial support services to help people consider their options.
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 Services Australia, 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 Services Australia Service Centre so a staff member can witness their identifying documentation.
Services Australia 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.
For more information on how to confirm your identity, visit the Services Australia website.
Statutory declaration - transitional arrangements
On 17 September 2021, the requirement for an application to include a valid statutory declaration was removed. A new application form will be available in early 2022.
As part of the transitional arrangements, the Scheme will continue to accept applications for redress using the previous version of the application form and with a completed statutory declaration.
A person's application for redress will be considered valid where the person (or their legal nominee) has signed and dated the statutory declaration page. The application does not require the person's signature to be witnessed to be accepted as valid.
The Scheme will not accept an application for redress where the statutory declaration page is missing, or does not include the person's (or their legal nominee's) signature, or date it was signed. The Scheme will contact the person (or legal nominee) where this occurs.
The Scheme will continue to require that a person (or their legal nominee) sign and date their application for redress form.
From early 2022, an application for redress form that is completed and submitted online through myGov, can be considered by the Scheme as valid using digital authentication in place of a hand written signature.
A person can attach any supporting information relevant to their application. Some examples might be 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.
Act reference: NRSAct Part 2-3 Division 2 Application for redress under the scheme, Part 8-3 Application and transitional provisions relating to the National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse Amendment Act 2021