A recent article in The Australian reported that while 2335 people have applied for compensation under the National Child Sexual Institutional Abuse Redress Scheme, only 28 people have received compensation since the scheme’s commencement on 1 July 2018.
A major flaw of the National Child Sexual Institutional Abuse Redress Scheme is that an institution has to sign up for a victim to receive compensation. Unfortunately, there has not been a rush by some institutions to sign up as they have until mid-2020 to do so. The institutions must also prove they have the financial resources available to pay for any compensation provided and that they can deliver direct personal responses to applicants.
Further it is feared some institutions simply will not sign up, preventing victims from having their applications for redress processed at all.
The Australian reports there could be up to 60,000 victims eligible to make a claim under the scheme. It seems unlikely the delays in processing claims will be resolved any time soon.
On a positive note, organisations to sign up to date include the Anglican Church, federal government institutions, the scouts, YMCA and many, but not all, Catholic entities.
Given the major flaw of the scheme, the significant delays in processing applications and the arbitrary financial cap of $150,000 reserved only for the most extreme cases, we again urge you to get independent legal advice before applying.
If you apply and receive a payment, you waive your chance to claim damages before the Court and possibly obtain a much higher award than the maximum allowed under the scheme.