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Australian Defence Force Assistance

Mental, physical and sexual abuse

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.

You may be entitled to claim compensation. Start the process with our simple and free online tool.

I only have a landline

What we will ask: 

  • Questions to help us understand your experience and how your life has been impacted. Your responses will help us define the best course of action for your claim. 

What happens next:

  • Either book a no-obligation appointment with an abuse law expert right away or,    

  • Speak with our team about your options

Defence Reparation Scheme 

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

However, access to the reparation scheme has now closed unless you reported your abuse or lodged an intention to report abuse prior to 1 July 2022. If you lodged an intention to report prior to 1 July 2022 you must lodge your report with the Defence Force Ombudsman on or before 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. 

Defence Force Ombudsman  

If you notified the Defence Force Ombudsman of your intention to lodge a report and have been issued with a notification reference number, then we may still be able to assist you with your report. 

The Defence Force Ombudsman may consider reports of serious abuse both to adults and children and covering sexual as well as serious physical abuse. It is a less restrictive opportunity than the National Redress Scheme which applies only to abuse suffered as a child and is restricted to sexual abuse. Features of the Defence Force Ombudsman Scheme include: 

  1. No requirement for survivors to have reported the matter to Defence previously so survivors who have been reluctant to speak up and come forward in the past can still do so. 

  2. Survivors have until 30 June 2023 to lodge a report if they have notified the Ombudsman of their intention to do so prior to 30 June 2022. 

  3. Survivors can receive up to $50,000 for the most serious forms of abuse with accompanying Defence mismanagement. 

  4. Survivors have the opportunity to participate in a Restorative Engagement Program that provides survivors with the vital acknowledgement and apology they deserve. 

In order to make an application for reparation payment the abuse must have occurred on or before 30 June 2014 and you must have notified the Ombudsman before 30 June 2022 of your intention to submit a report. Incidents of serious abuse occurring after that date may still be reported using the same scheme process and may still be eligible for restorative engagement but you will not be eligible for a reparation payment. 

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

How Shine can help

We have helped thousands of Australians right wrong and access more than $1 billion per year in entitlements and compensation through our expert services.  

95% of the cases we represent are settled without the stress of going to court.

We offer access to affordable legal advice including on a No Win, No Fee* basis and an obligation-free initial consultation so you can understand your rights and know where you stand. 

We are ready to take action, supporting your choice not to be silenced and right wrong.

*Conditions apply

Do you have a claim?  

We’re here to make the claims process as simple and stress-free as possible.

Australian Defence Force Assistance FAQs

Is there an abuse lawyer near me?

With more than 40 branches across Australia and 1000+ team members, location is no barrier when it comes to accessing Shine Lawyers' legal advice and support.

If you’d like to speak to our abuse law team in person, you can see our full list of locations here.

If you aren‘t able to find a location near you, we can easily arrange an obligation-free virtual appointment or discuss the option to meet at a location that’s comfortable and convenient for you. No matter where you are located, we will always provide the same, expert advice and manage your claim with the same level of quality and commitment.

Can I represent myself, or do I need an abuse lawyer?

It is possible to legally represent yourself when making a claim however, doing so successfully will likely require a thorough understanding of the law, your legal rights and entitlements, and a commitment to actively pursue the case to move it forward. Without an experienced abuse lawyer in your corner, it can be difficult to identify and highlight the strengths of your case. Without the right legal advice and support, you then may not receive the compensation you're entitled to. A lawyer can help you maximise your lump sum entitlements.

Why trust Shine to be my abuse lawyers?

At Shine Lawyers, we put your first. We’ve been standing up for the rights of everyday Australians for over 45 years. As one of Australia’s largest litigation law firms, we are here to help you get the justice you deserve.

Our empathy, understanding and expertise is why we’re ahead of the pack. We’ll stand with you and guide you through every step of the way.

What is military compensation?

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

What is military rehabilitation?

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.

Do I have a claim?

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 you were performing a 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 widower’s 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

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