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

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 has made a claim

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.

Page last updated: 5 June 2019