Claiming compensation from us

If you believe we have made a mistake that caused you financial loss or injury, you may be able to claim compensation from us.

Before you make a claim

You should make sure you have used all of your review options. If you still have a review option that can resolve the issue, we may not pay you compensation.

If you want us to review a decision, you should contact us as soon as possible, as time limits may apply.

Read more about reviews and appeals.

Legal liability

We will consider whether there is a legal right to compensation in relation to your claim. You need to show that all of the following apply:

  • we had a legal duty of care to you
  • we breached that duty of care
  • you suffered a loss or disadvantage because of the breach, and
  • there is a reasonable connection between the breach and the loss or disadvantage suffered

Defective administration

Where there is no legal right to compensation, we will consider whether compensation can be paid under the Compensation for Detriment caused by Defective Administration Scheme (the CDDA Scheme). You need to show all of the following:

  • our administration was defective
  • you suffered a loss or detriment as a result, and
  • we could reasonably have expected you would suffer the loss or detriment as a result

Read more about the CDDA Scheme on the Department of Finance website.


You can claim compensation by completing the‚Äč Compensation Application form.

If you do not have access to a printer, ask your local service centre to print the form, or call us on 1800 995 496 and we can send one to you.

Submit your claim

You can submit your claim by:


Department of Human Services
Customer Compensation
Reply Paid 7788

Your compensation claim

We will send an acknowledgement letter within 5 business days of receiving a claim. The letter will usually provide contact details of the claim manager handling your claim. Where possible, your claim manager will call you to discuss your claim.

We aim to resolve claims within 90 days, however this may not always be possible, especially where claims are complex.

We will send you a letter about the outcome of your claim.

We may ask you to sign a settlement deed if your claim is approved. Signing a settlement deed means you cannot make any future claims against us about the same matter.

If you are not happy with a decision or the way we have handled your claim, you can discuss this with your claim manager.

If you still disagree with the decision, you can contact the Commonwealth Ombudsman. The Ombudsman will consider whether the decision was reasonable in the circumstances. You can call the Ombudsman’s office on 1300 362 072 for the cost of a local call anywhere in Australia.

Other options

Complaint, compliment or suggestion

If you have a complaint, compliment or suggestion we want to hear from you even if compensation is not appropriate.

Read more about complaints and feedback.

Act of Grace

An Act of Grace payment may be paid to people who have been unintentionally disadvantaged by the effects of Australian Government legislation, actions or omissions. The Department of Finance reviews claims for Act of Grace payments.

Read more about Act of Grace payments and a claim form on the Department of Finance website.


You can seek advice about claiming compensation from us.

Read more about National Welfare Rights Network and Legal Aid on their websites.

Page last updated: 27 August 2017