Extra staff will be hired to handle applications to the National Redress Scheme for victims of child sexual abuse, as the program buckles under the weight of a huge backlog in cases. Source: ABC News.
Since July 2018, more than 200,000 applications for financial support have been made, but only about 11,000 have been finalised.
The scheme has been widely criticised for being painstakingly slow and re-traumatising for those forced to relive their abuse as they detail the horrible offences committed against them.
Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth said $15 million from last month’s federal budget would be funnelled into the scheme.
She said the “previous government did not adequately resource the scheme” and left a “significant backlog” of applications.
The rate of monthly applications is also growing, particularly with the ability for victims to now upload their claims online.
The average monthly number of applications this year is about 700, while in previous years it has been about 300.
Victims’ advocates have been scathing in their assessment of some of the redress scheme’s processes, including the inconsistencies in rulings made by Independent Decision Makers for financial support.
Some have claimed people with similar stories of abuse will receive wildly varying offers of compensation.
The maximum amount offered by the National Redress Scheme is $150,000, and advance payments of $10,000 for people waiting for an outcome.
More staff to be hired for National Redress Scheme in aim to clear backlog as applications grow (By Matthew Doran, ABC News)