Australian Victim of Terrorism Overseas Payment

A one off payment to provide assistance for Australians affected by acts of terrorism overseas that are declared by the Prime Minister.

Eligibility

You may be eligible if you:

  • were an Australian resident on the day the declared overseas terrorist act occurred and you were living permanently in Australia
  • and your close family members were not involved in the commission of the declared overseas terrorist act
  • were in the place and were harmed as a direct result of the declared overseas terrorist act, or
  • are the close family member of a person who was in the place and who died as a direct result of a declared overseas terrorist act

Close family member

A close family member is classified as a:

  • partner
  • child
  • parent including a legal guardian
  • sibling

Legal guardian

Under section 4 of the Family Law Act 1975 a guardian includes a person who has been granted (whether alone or jointly with another person or persons) guardianship of the child under the law of the Commonwealth or of a State or Territory.

In the place

For the purposes of this payment, in the place where the declared overseas terrorist act occurred means you were:

  • in close proximity to the place where the terrorist act occurred and
  • witnessed the terrorist act first hand

A person is in close proximity to the place where the terrorist act occurred if they were close enough to be physically injured, harmed or killed by that act.

Witnessing the terrorist act first hand means being present, and personally seeing or perceiving the terrorist act direct from the original source.

Harmed includes any physical or psychological injury suffered as a direct result of the overseas terrorist act.

People who went to the place where the terrorist act occurred immediately following the act to assist victims are considered to be in the place for the purposes of this payment. This would include arriving at the scene of the act before the victim is moved to another location.

Being in the place would not include witnessing or participating in events that might follow a declared overseas terrorist act, such as but not limited to:

  • travelling to the place to locate close family members or others
  • seeing debris and property damage resulting from the terrorist act
  • providing first response services in an official capacity or
  • dealing with the police, medical authorities or Australian Embassy or Consular officials

For more information please call the Australian Victim of Terrorism Overseas Hotline on 1800 040 226. If you are outside Australia, call +61 8 9464 8649. The line is open Monday to Friday, between 8 am and 5 pm Australian local time.

Declared terrorist acts

This payment has been declared for the following terrorist acts:

  • March 2016 Brussels attacks
  • November 2015 Paris attacks

The claiming period has closed for these previously declared terrorist attacks:

  • 2001 US September 11 attacks
  • 2002 Bali bombings
  • 2004 Jakarta bombing
  • 2005 Bali bombings
  • 2005 London bombings
  • 2006 Egypt bombings
  • 2008 Mumbai attacks
  • 2009 Jakarta hotel bombings
  • 2013 Nairobi armed assault

Payment rates

You may be able to receive up to $75,000 depending on your circumstances.

Primary victim

A primary victim is a person who was harmed as a direct result of a declared terrorist act.

The following factors are taken into account when determining a primary victim claim:

  • the nature of the injury or disease suffered as a direct result of the terrorist act
  • the impact of the injury or disease on the person’s life
  • whether the person failed to take reasonable steps to avoid harm or acted recklessly when the terrorist act occurred
  • whether there was travel advice on an Australian government website advising against travelling to the foreign country, region or place where the terrorist act occurred
  • whether the person was directed by an official of Australia or a foreign country to leave or not go to the place where the terrorist act occurred
  •  whether the person was in the place where the terrorist act occurred:
    • for a humanitarian purpose
    • on official business for the government of the Commonwealth, a state or territory
  • whether the person has received financial assistance from a foreign country

Secondary victim

A secondary victim is a close family member of a person who died as a direct result of a declared terrorist act.

Eligible close family members may share a payment of up to $75,000 for the death of a close family member. Payment cannot be made until all eligible close family members are identified and have been invited to submit a claim.

If we invite a potential secondary victim to claim, they must do so within the timeframe specified on the notice sent to them, otherwise they may not be considered for a share of the Australian Victim of Terrorism Overseas Payment.

The following factors may also be taken into account when determining a secondary victim claim:

  • whether the person has made a claim as a secondary victim of the terrorist act in relation to another close family member
  • whether the close family member failed to take reasonable steps to avoid harm or acted recklessly when the terrorist act occurred
  • whether there was travel advice on an Australian government website advising against travelling to the foreign country, region or place where the terrorist act occurred
  • whether the close family member was directed by an official of Australia or a foreign country to leave or not go to the place where the terrorist act occurred
  • whether the close family member was in the place where the terrorist act occurred:
    • for a humanitarian purpose
    • on official business for the government of the Commonwealth, a state or territory
  • whether the person, other secondary victims or the close family member has received financial assistance from a foreign country
  • whether the close family member received an Australian Victim of Terrorism Overseas Payment as a primary victim

If more than one family member makes a claim

The principles issued under the legislation set out what share of the Australian Victim of Terrorism Overseas Payment is to be paid to close family members in the event that more than one close family member makes a claim:

  • if the deceased person’s partner or children claim, they may share the payment
  • if no partner or child claims, parents may share the payment
  • if no partner, child or parent claims, siblings may share the payment

How the Australian Victim of Terrorism Overseas Payment is apportioned

Apportioning payments among secondary victims
Where the secondary victim claimants are: The portion of total AVTOP payable is:
a partner, and no child has made a claim 100% to the partner
a partner, and a child or children 50% to the partner
50% to the child or children, shared equally among the children if more than 1 child
a child or children, and no partner has made a claim 100%, shared equally among the children if more than 1 child
a parent or parents, and no partner or child has made a claim 100%, shared equally among the parents if more than 1 parent
a sibling or siblings, and no partner, parent or child has made a claim 100%, shared equally among the siblings if more than 1 sibling

Read more for examples of how the payment may be apportioned.

Claiming

A claim by a primary victim must be submitted within 2 years of the day the declaration is made by the Prime Minister.

Primary victim claims for the March 2016 Brussels attacks close on 5 May 2018

Primary victim claims for the November 2015 Paris attacks close on 16 December 2017.

A claim by a secondary victim must be submitted within 12 months of the death of the close family member. The close family member must have died as a direct result of, and within 2 years of the declared terrorist act.

You may need to provide medical information and other supporting documents with your claim. This will be discussed during the claim process.

To claim you can download, complete and post your claim form and supporting documentation to:

Department of Human Services
Australian Victim of Terrorism Overseas Payment
Reply Paid 7830
Canberra BC ACT 2610

If you are overseas, post your claim form to the same address.

Proof of identity

Before you can be paid, we may contact you and ask you to confirm your identity. If you are required to confirm your identity, you will need to provide your identification to us in person.

A list of acceptable documents can be found in the Confirming your identity form.

If you have any difficulty in obtaining or providing these documents, you should call us on 1800 040 226. If you are outside Australia, call +61 8 9464 8649, as soon as possible. The line is open Monday to Friday, between 8 am and 5 pm Australian local time.

You may also be asked to provide other information, but this will be discussed with you as your claim is assessed.

Claim forms

March 2016 Brussels attacks

Primary victim

Secondary victim

Health Professional or Allied Health Professional report

November 2015 Paris attacks

Primary victim

Secondary victim

Health Professional or Allied Health Professional report

Manage your money

Getting control of your money can be hard, but we’ve got some great advice and tools to help. Read more about budgeting, borrowing and credit, and managing debt, to help manage your money.

Page last updated: 13 May 2016