Applying for compensation

If you think the Department has made a mistake that caused you financial loss or some other detriment, you may be able to make a claim for compensation from the Department.

Applying for compensation

If you think the Department has made a mistake that caused you financial loss or some other detriment, you may be able to make a claim for compensation from the Department.

Before you make a claim

You should ensure you have used all other available review options before making a claim for compensation. The Department may not be able to pay you compensation if you still have a review option that may resolve the issue.

Types of compensation

There are two ways the Department assesses a claim for compensation. They are:

  •  compensation for legal liability (e.g. negligence); or
  •  compensation under the Scheme for Compensation for Detriment caused by Defective Administration (CDDA Scheme).

If compensation is not payable by the Department in either of these circumstances, you can apply for an act of grace payment. Act of grace payments are administered by the Department of Finance. For more information on act of grace, visit the Department of Finance’s website.

Compensation for legal liability

The Department may pay compensation where there is a meaningful prospect the Department could be found liable to pay compensation if the matter went to court. Examples include negligence and actions in contract. Settlement of the claim must be in accordance with legal principle and practice.

You may wish to seek your own legal advice if you think your circumstances might give rise to a legal liability claim.

The CDDA Scheme

The Department may pay compensation under the CDDA Scheme if no legal liability exists. Payments may be made if the Department (or an official of the Department) has directly caused you to suffer detriment as a result of defective administration. Payments made under the CDDA Scheme are discretionary. This means there is no automatic entitlement to a payment.

In order for your claim to be successful under the CDDA Scheme, the decision maker must be satisfied that:

  •  the Department’s administration was defective;
  •  the loss or detriment suffered by you was as a direct result of the Department’s defective administration; and
  •  the type of loss or detriment you suffered must have been reasonably foreseeable by the Department.

What is defective administration?

Defective administration includes any of the following:

  •  a specific and unreasonable lapse in complying with existing administrative procedures;
  • an unreasonable failure to institute appropriate administrative procedures;
  • giving advice to (or for) a person that was, in all the circumstances, incorrect or ambiguous; or
  • an unreasonable failure to give to (or for) a person, the proper advice that was within the official's power and knowledge to give (or reasonably capable of being obtained by the official to give).

A detriment means financial loss that a person has suffered which could include loss relating to personal injury, economic loss or damage to property.

Claims involving Contract Service Providers (e.g. jobactive Providers):

The CDDA Scheme does not generally operate in relation to a contracted service provider’s actions or advice. In considering claims under the CDDA Scheme, the decision maker will consider whether your loss was caused by the action or advice of an official of the Department.

The actions or advice of contracted service providers or their staff are unlikely to be considered those of an official of the Department.

For more information on the CDDA Scheme, visit the Department of Finance’s website.

Applying for compensation

To apply for compensation, complete the application form and attach all relevant documents to support your claim. This could include correspondence between you and the Department, medical certificates, and/or financial statements. Please send your completed application form and supporting documentation to:

Corporate Legal
Department of Employment
C12MT1 GPO Box 9880
CANBERRA ACT 2601
or via email to litigation@employment.gov.au.

The Department aims to acknowledge receipt of your claim within 7 business days of receiving it. The Department cannot provide you with a definite date for the completion of claims, however you will be kept informed of the progress of your claim. For information on how to make an act of grace claim, visit the Department of Finance’s website.