What is the National Redress Scheme?

The National Redress Scheme was established by the Australian Government in response to one of the key recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

The National Redress Scheme:

  1. acknowledges that many children were sexually abused in Australian institutions;
  2. holds institutions accountable for this abuse; and
  3. helps people who have experienced institutional child sexual abuse gain access to counselling and psychological services, a direct personal response, and a monetary payment.

The National Redress Scheme can offer:

  1. a monetary payment up to $150,000 (the average redress payment is $80,000);
  2. counselling and psychological support, depending on your location; and
  3. a direct personal response from the responsible institution(s).

The Scheme began on 1 July 2018 and will remain open for 10 years. Applications can be made any time up to 30 June 2027.

What is the payment for?

It is important to remember that a payment under the National Redress Scheme is not ‘common law’ damages. The redress payment will not include any amount for loss of income or pain and suffering. Its purpose is to recognise and acknowledge the impact of institutional child sexual abuse and related abuse.

Who can apply?

knowmore can help you find out if you are eligible to apply for redress.

Eligible survivors of institutional child sexual abuse can apply if the responsible institution has joined the scheme. You can check the list of participating institutions at www.nationalredress.gov.au or by calling the National Redress Scheme on 1800 737 377.

All states and territories and key non-government institutions such as the Catholic, Anglican and Uniting Churches, Salvation Army, YMCA and Scouts have agreed to join the scheme.

It is estimated that nearly 90% of survivors of child sexual abuse in Australian institutions will eventually be eligible to make a claim for redress.

Important information

Not all survivors will be eligible to make a claim. In some cases, the Department of Social Services which operates the scheme may exercise discretion about someone’s eligibility.

Survivors who have received redress under other schemes or through past actions or claims can still apply to the NRS, but prior relevant payments will be taken into account.

Even if a survivor was sexually abused as a child in multiple institutions, the survivor will only be able to make one application for redress. There are limited options to review any decision that is made about a person’s redress.

When a monetary payment is accepted, the survivor will also be asked to sign a statutory release. This means that a survivor will not be able to bring or continue any civil proceedings against the institution or its officials in relation to that abuse.

For these reasons, it is very important that survivors seek legal advice about their options and whether a redress claim is the most appropriate option for them.