National Redress Scheme Payments

What you need to know about the Redress Scheme

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At the recommendation of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, the Australian Parliament has created a Redress Scheme for victims of institutional sexual abuse. On the 1st of July 2018, the National Redress Scheme was launched. It will run for ten years.

There are several important things you need to know before you apply to the Redress Scheme:

You should talk to a specialist solicitor BEFORE you contact the Scheme. The solicitor will assess your case and will make sure you have the best chance to receive the maximum redress. Don’t make the mistake of going in unrepresented. You literally get one chance to get it right. If you don’t accept what you are offered your application lapses and you get nothing. Don’t let that happen.

Talk to our team today to hear your options.

Do not apply to the Scheme if you have never received any money from a church, institution or charity. There are important options to consider before thinking about redress. The Scheme is a compensation of last resort. It is just one of your options for achieving a payment.

The Scheme will be open for ten years. There is time to explore all the options. Don’t be rushed into redress by advocacy groups who mean well but aren’t qualified to give legal advice. Even submitting an application can have unintended consequences; once the NRS makes an offer there is no turning back. If you don’t accept what you are offered you will get nothing and you can’t re-apply again.

The Scheme says it has free lawyers to assist you. What this means is you will be referred out to a Community Legal Centre somewhere in Australia. Most public solicitors at CLC’s can help you with an application form but they don’t have experience running compensation claims against big institutions. As a survivor of child abuse, you deserve your own solicitor who is a genuine expert and can fully advise you.

The Scheme will not help you unless you were sexually abused. This means victims of serious violence are not covered by the National Redress Scheme. You will need to get a solicitor to help you if you were not sexually abused. This is a specialist area of the law.

The Scheme may not help you if you were abused by a foster parent while you were a ward of the State. The department of social services suggests you are covered, but this is not set in stone yet. This is a complex area of the law and you need to speak to a specialist solicitor if you were abused by a foster parent.

You cannot appeal a decision from the National Redress Scheme. If the Scheme makes you an offer you don’t agree with you can only ask for the decision to be reviewed by another Decision Maker at the NRS. Then you have six months to take the last offer. If you miss the deadline it’s all over. The offer is withdrawn and the door shuts. You cannot apply again. Your only hope is to find a lawyer to take your case to the High Court. And that will cost you thousands of dollars. The politicians removed the right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal to keep the cost of the Scheme as cheap as possible and to force victims to take what they are offered.

Deciding to apply for redress is an important decision. Your claim is a valuable asset. You only have one chance to get it right with the Scheme. It’s important you don’t sell yourself short.

If you are thinking about applying for redress, contact Kelso Lawyers today. Our team will expertly assess your case and provide you with the best advice for redress or compensation. There is no upfront cost to you and no obligation when talking to a legal specialist – we are here to help.

Call 02 4907 4200 and speak with our team today.

Steps to claiming compensation

Fill in the Claimant Information Sheet
Our team will review your inquiry & the facts of the case
Peter Kelso, founder & director, will talk to you personally to hear your story
We will send you a letter with our no-win, no-fee costs agreement
When we receive the signed agreement, our solicitors will start work on the case
Our solicitors will deal directly with the government & institutions to achieve the best possible results
Our solicitors will negotiate a compensation payment & apology on your behalf with the relevant body
Medicare & Centrelink are notified of the incoming payment
Our solicitors will finalise the legal papers
We pay your compensation into your selected bank account

FAQS on the National Redress Scheme

Should I get legal advice before applying to the NRS?

Yes. Everyone should complete our claimant information sheet first. You don’t want to do the wrong thing and find yourself sold short or missing out on a civil claim against the institution.

How do I apply for the National Redress Scheme?

Fill in our claimant information sheet first so we can assess what is the best strategy for you. We will complete your redress form for you if redress is the better way to go. Everyone’s case is different.

What institutions are involved with the Scheme?

Currently all the State governments, the Catholic Church, Anglican Church, Uniting Church, The Salvation Army, PCYC and Scouts Australia have signed up to the scheme. The Jehovah’s Witnesses have not.

How does the National Redress Scheme affect current and/or previous clients of Kelso Lawyers?

We will assess all previous settlements to see if you are eligible for a top-up from redress. Please get in touch for more information.

How does the National Redress Scheme assess the claim?

Nobody knows at this stage. The Redress Scheme was put together in a rush so the finer points of the scheme have not been finalised yet. There will be Independent Decision Makers assessing redress but the Commonwealth is not telling us yet who they are.

How long does the Redress Scheme take to evaluate claims?

Nobody knows. The Redress Scheme is taking applications and shelving them all until they have worked out what to do. This is an unsatisfactory answer but it’s what the Redress Scheme is telling us.

What you need to know about the National Redress Scheme
applying for redress