Elderly and terminally ill survivors of child sexual abuse will be able to access advance payments of up to $10,000 from the National Redress Scheme.
In a recent inquiry by the Federal Government, it was found that the scheme is a “bureaucratic nightmare” and has been incredibly slow, complicated and traumatising for victims over the last two years.
Senior public servant, Robyn Kruk, has recommended early payments for victims who may die before their redress application has been processed. Social Services Minister Anne Ruston agreed and has organised for victims to receive their advance payments “almost immediately”.
“Many of the survivors that are coming forward are in their older years because the abuse took place a long time ago,” Senator Ruston told the ABC.
“What we wanted to do was to make sure that we were able to give quick access to an advance payment.”
“Bearing in mind that even in the unfortunate situation where somebody does pass away during the application process, their estate or their family will receive the payment — but of course, that is of no benefit to the survivor.”
“Not only are we accepting what you’ve got to say, we actually believe you.”
Robyn Kruk also recommended significant changes to the application process. She claimed the scheme “does not engage with survivors sufficiently” and “the process is currently traumatising”.
“Survivors stated that the application form is too complex for a population that may have literacy difficulties; there is not enough guidance on the level of detail required in the application form,” Robyn said.
Despite this, the Federal Government has rejected the recommendations to reduce the standard of proof survivors are required to give.
Get the justice you deserve with Kelso Lawyers. We want to hear your story. Call (02) 4907 4200 or complete the online form before you accept payment from the National Redress Scheme.
Feature Image: ABC News