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Australian Defence Force Assistance

If you’re a current or past member of the Australia Defence Force (ADF) and need military legal assistance we’re here to help you get the outcome you need.


Experiencing sexual or physical abuse can be extremely traumatic and isolating, even for years after it happened. We understand the courage it takes to come forward and speak up and are here to help you move forward with your life.

Our passionate team have served within the Australian Defence Force and understand first-hand what it takes to come forward and make a claim. We are ready to listen and provide you with the support you need, every step of the way.

Defence Abuse Response Taskforce (DART) Scheme Revised

Update: Deadline to access Defence Reparation Scheme has been extended

The Australian Government has extended the Defence Reparation Scheme by a further 12 months until 30 June 2022.

To seek a reparation payment, you need to contact the Commonwealth Ombudsman by 30 June 2022 and either:

  • submit a report of abuse; or
  • provide written notification of your intention to submit a report (with completed reports to be lodged by 30 June 2023).
  • If you have not yet made a reparation claim and want to find out more or discuss your eligibility to make a claim, contact us using the ‘enquire now’ button below.

    The government opened a window for historic abuse survivors to apply for reparation payments and other support through the Defence Force Ombudsman.

    This is an expanded complaint window with the Defence Force Ombudsman’s Office that allows for abuse survivors who missed out on the DART scheme, to still have access to reparation and other means of support.

    In order to qualify for the DFO scheme, you must:

    1. Have suffered serious abuse such as sexual abuse, serious physical abuse and/or serious bullying and harassment; and
    2. The serious abuse must have occurred by a serving member or a person employed or contracted by Defence; and
    3. Contact the Commonwealth Ombudsman by 30 June 2022 to submit a report of the abuse. (Alternatively, you can provide a written notification by 30 June 2022 of your intention to submit a report, and have your final report lodged by 30 June 2023)

    The DFO will accept reports of abuse if the abuse is reasonably likely to have occurred. If the report is accepted by the DFO there are various outcomes available to the applicant including, reparation, counselling and a direct restorative engagement meeting.

    Shine Lawyers' Abuse Law department has assisted over 100 survivors in their DART applications and have the expertise in providing applicants with the best chance at receiving reparation for the abuse suffered while serving within the Defence Force.

    Contact our expert Abuse Law team online or via phone on 13 11 99 today to assist you with your application to the DFO. Let’s right wrong.

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    Australian Defence Force legal process

    Everyone’s situation is unique, because no two Australian Defence Force compensation claims are the same, however the below is a good representation of the claims process works with Shine Lawyers and how to access compensation following your injuries.

    How Australian Defence Force compensation gets calculated

    Depending on the nature of your Australian Defence Force claim, in most instances a monetary value is placed on the gap between your predicted life path before the accident or injury, and your actual life path since the injury.

    Compensation Diagram

    Our offer to you

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    Obligation-free initial consultation to assess your case confidentially

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    Claim assessment process where we will explain all of the options available to you

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    We can come to you - if you can't make it into the office we're more than happy to come to you

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    No Win No Fee arrangement


    Common Questions

    If you have an injury because of your service in the ADF, you may be able to claim compensation.

    We can talk to you about your options or help you to make a claim if you are or have been a member of any of the below:

    • Army
    • Army Reserve
    • Navy
    • Naval Reserve, RANR
    • Air Force, RAAF
    • Air Force Reserve
    • Australian Federal Police

    Military Rehabilitation (Rehab) is available from the Department of Veteran Affairs (DVA).

    If you were injured or suffered an illness as a result of your ADF service and your claim has been accepted, then this option is available to you.

    What’s not always mentioned is how hard it can be to get this accepted and that’s where we can help. The first step is to make a claim for liability, which can be a complex process.

    You’re entitled to nominate a legal representative or organisation to help you through this process so that you can achieve the whole purpose of rehab – to get you back on track.

    Military Compensation

    If you have an injury or disease resulting from your ADF service you may be able to claim compensation. Even if you were injured while undertaking incidental duties in the ADF; for example:

    • travelling to and from a location where performing peacetime service
    • away from a place of duty upon having ceased to perform duty

    You can also receive compensation if you suffer loss or damage to medical aids.

    Dependents can be eligible for compensation in the event of a death occurring as a result of serving on or after 1 July 2004.

    Military Rehabilitation and Benefits

    If you have an injury or disease resulting from your ADF service you may be entitled to compensation if your claim for liability has been accepted by the DVA.

    You may also be able to claim benefits and compensation for:

    • Disability compensation pension
    • War widows and widowers pension
    • Compensation following death
    • Injury resulting from chemical exposure
    • Incapacity benefits

    Other Military Related Legal Claims

    You may also have a claim if you or someone you know, has experienced or been involved in:

    • discrimination of age, gender, race, religion etc
    • physical or sexual abuse
    • harassment
    • difficulty in obtaining benefits or compensation from DVA

    Contact our Shine Lawyers military team to talk about your problem and we’ll do all we can to help you regain control over the situation.

    The Government pays compensation as per your service policy, not the person directly associated with your claim (if any).

    What you can claim for will depend on your particular military issue.

    You may be able to claim for:

    • Impairment benefits
    • Current or Future Loss of income
    • Access to treatment or rehabilitation
    • Medical expenses

    How much you can claim is based on your individual circumstances.

    It is best for us to discuss this with you during our first meeting when we can ask more questions and fully appreciate the extent of the situation.

    How long your claim takes depends on a few things, for example how complex your particular situation is.

    After we sit down and discuss the ins and outs we will be able to give you a better idea of the timeframes involved with your claim.

    There are time limits for taking legal action so it’s best to contact a lawyer as soon as possible, preferably within 12 months.

    If you can get in touch with us as soon as possible then we can do everything we can to make sure you meet the allowable time frames.

    Shine Lawyers work on a No win no fee* basis which means you will only pay our fee if you win at the end of the claim.

    We will always be open and upfront with you about what it costs so feel free to ask us any questions at any time.

    It’s hard to give you an estimation of legal costs upfront because it depends on the amount of work required to resolve your claim. All claims are different but we can give you a better idea after we understand how complex your situation is and how long it could take.

    *Conditions apply

    Where you are located isn't necessarily a barrier when it comes to obtaining the services of a lawyer. We're experts when it comes to Defence Force related claims and we can help you get the compensation you deserve. It doesn't matter if you are located close or far away from a Shine Lawyers office - we will always provide the same, expert advice and manage your claim with the same level of quality and commitment.

    Our compensation experts are in the following locations:

    Shine Lawyers are ADF compensation lawyers that can help you get the compensation you need following your injury in the Australian Defence Force. Click on the link below for more information about how Shine Lawyers can help you.

    Why you should choose Shine Lawyers to handle your ADF claim

    Hear from some of our clients

    History of Shine Lawyers

    The Shine Lawyers team

    Shine Lawyers also have accredited specialists in personal injury law across the nation:

    Shine Lawyers are one of the biggest personal injury litigation firms in Australia and have the experience and nous to go up against the big insurance companies and get you the result you are looking for. We have lawyers within our ranks that have served in the Australian Defence Force and know the processes involved with claims for compensation.

    At Shine Lawyers you will have your own go-to team, who are always available to chat and who understand that explaining things in plain English to you is important.

    We provide all of our ADF legal services on a No Win No Fee basis, which means you won't have to pay our legal costs unless we win your claim at the end.

    Hear from some of our clients who have been through the legal process with us.

    Enquire Now

    If required, we gather more details or documents later in the process.
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