4.6 Accepting an offer of redress
To access the components of redress under the Scheme, a person must first accept their offer of redress within the acceptance period.
The acceptance document gives effect to a statutory release and is in a prescribed form, meaning that it cannot be altered or changed. The acceptance document will detail the offer being accepted and includes:
- a statement that the person accepts the offer
- a statement that the person releases and forever discharges each responsible institution and their officials (other than an official who is an abuser of the person) from all civil liability for abuse of the person that is within the scope of the Scheme
- a statement that the person also releases any associates of the responsible institution/s if the responsible institution/s is part of a participating group
- a statement that the person forgoes any entitlement to be paid damages from released institution/s arising out of civil claims
- a statement that the person will not (whether an individual or as part of a group) bring or continue any civil claim against the released institution/s or official/s in relation to the abuse of the person that is within the scope of the Scheme
- a statement of each of the components of redress that the person wishes to receive
- the redress payment (including share of costs of each responsible institution), and/or
- the counselling and psychological care component, and/or
- the direct personal response
- an acknowledgement that the person understands the effect of accepting the offer, and
- a signature block that needs to be signed to accept the offer.
A person's offer is accepted when the Scheme receives their signed acceptance document before the end of the acceptance period. A legal nominee may sign an acceptance of offer on the eligible person's behalf.
Accepting an offer of redress has the effect of releasing the responsible participating institution/s, their associates and the institution's officials (other than the abuser/s) from any civil liability for instances of sexual abuse and related non-sexual abuse of the person. This means that the person is agreeing not to bring or continue any civil claims against the responsible participating institution/s, their associates and relevant officials in relation to any abuse within the scope of the Scheme.
In accepting the offer of redress a person will also be consenting to allow the participating institution/s or official/s to disclose the person's acceptance of the redress offer in the event that a relevant civil claim is made.
The Scheme provides access to free independent legal advice through community legal support services for a person to seek advice on the implications of signing the acceptance of offer. A person may also seek private legal advice at their own cost.
Once accepted, the Scheme will process the redress payment as quickly as possible.
The Scheme will also notify the relevant participating institution/s to advise the components of redress that the person wishes to receive and will send a copy of the person's acceptance document for their records.
A person's offer of redress will expire at the end of the acceptance period (6 months from the date of letter of offer). At this time, the Scheme considers the offer of redress as declined.