Sexual Abuse National Redress Scheme Faces Payout Problems

Published 21 Jan 2019

Since its launch in July 2018, the number of sex abuse victims that have received compensation from the National Redress Scheme is significantly below original estimations.

As a result, victims are being advised to seek legal help before entering themselves into the scheme in a bid to avoid lengthy delays and inadequate compensation.

A history of the National Redress Scheme

Among its list of recommendations, the Royal Commission Into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse made a proposal to establish a National Redress Scheme.

As well as helping victims gain access to psychological services, the scheme was designed to ensure sufferers of child sexual abuse were able to receive damages from large institutions quickly and effectively.

However, in recent weeks, figures show that the number of claimants who have received substantial monetary payment is dramatically lower than expected.

A problem in numbers

Despite 2,335 applications, only 28 victims have been compensated under the $4 billion National Redress Scheme, reports the media. Furthermore, there are concerns about the low number of institutions that have signed up to the scheme.

Institutions include hospitals, public and private schools, and numerous religious organisations. All must agree to join the Scheme so they can provide compensation to people who experienced child sexual abuse whilst in its care. Many institutions have already agreed to join the Scheme. This includes the Commonwealth, all state and territory governments and many of the major churches and charities including the Catholic Church, the Anglican Church and the YMCA.

Sadly, many key institutions are yet to join, leading to discussions about naming and shaming those who haven’t.

The effects

This slow upkeep means more victims are unable to make a claim in regard to particular institutions. As such, it’s estimated that there are around 60,000 eligible victims - all of which are bound by inevitable hold-ups with receiving damages.

Unfortunately, issues regarding the amount of compensation have also become apparent. Under the Scheme, redress payments are capped at $150,000, with only a small number of claimants estimated to reach this limit. This is a significantly lower amount than what that the same person could receive by going through a lawyer, such as those at Gerard Malouf & Partners. Here, victims could obtain upwards of $500,000. Furthermore, unlike an expert legal team, the Scheme is unlikely to accurately regard pain and suffering, past and future wage loss, the cost of medical treatment, and depression and anxiety when awarding compensation.

This is why experts are urging claimants to use a lawyer. With a 98 per cent success rate and $1.5 billion won for past claimants, the team at Gerard Malouf & Partners are the perfect choice. Get in touch today to see how we can help you with your case.