Claiming compensation

If you have experienced a financial loss or some other detriment due to our error, you might be able to make a claim for compensation.

Types of compensation

You can claim compensation for loss suffered as a result of:

  • legal liability
  • defective administration
  • special circumstances arising out of Commonwealth administration

Legal liability

If there is a meaningful prospect that we could be found liable if the matter went to court, we may assess your claim and pay compensation in line with the Legal Services Directions 2017.

It is your responsibility to seek independent legal advice if you believe your circumstances raise issues of potential legal liability.

Scheme for Compensation for Detriment caused by Defective Administration

The Compensation for Detriment caused by Defective Administration Scheme (CDDA Scheme) provides compensation if you have been adversely affected by defective administration on the part of the Department and no other legal liability exists.

Payments made under the CDDA Scheme are discretionary and can be made where it is considered fair and reasonable to do so and where there is no other redress available. The CDDA Scheme is discretionary, and there is no requirements for a decision-maker to approve your application, regardless of your circumstances.

The overarching principle of the CDDA Scheme is to restore you to the position you would have been in had the defective administration not occurred.

Find out more on defective administration and the CDDA Scheme (Department of Finance).

Make a claim

When making an application under the CDDA scheme you need to address:

  • how our actions or inactions were defective
  • provide details of what you are claiming, including an explanation of how the amount claimed has been calculated and any relevant information in support of the claim
  • how our defective administration directly caused your loss

You should also include any relevant evidence in support of your application, such as correspondence with us or receipts.

Send your application



Discretionary Compensation Claims
Office of the General Counsel
GPO Box 858
Canberra ACT 2601

Act of Grace

The Australian Government can make an Act of Grace payment if the Finance Minister or the Finance Minister’s delegate considers it is appropriate because of special circumstances.

Act of Grace requests are considered on their merit and are discretionary. There is no situation which creates an automatic entitlement to an Act of Grace payment. Payments made under the Act of Grace mechanism are can be made where it is considered fair and reasonable to do so and there is no other redress available.

An Act of Grace payment is generally an avenue of last resort. You will need to consider other compensation options before submitting an Act of Grace request. If there are other options, an Act of Grace payment may not be appropriate.

There may be special circumstances if:

  • a non-corporate Commonwealth entity has taken action, or failed to take action, and this has caused an unintended and inequitable result for you
  • Australian Government legislation or policy has had an unintended, anomalous, inequitable or otherwise unacceptable impact in a particular case to apply the benefits of the relevant provisions prospectively
  • the matter is not covered by legislation or specific policy, but the Australian Government intends to introduce such legislation or policy

Read more about Act of Grace payments (Department of Finance).

Make an Act of Grace claim to the Department of Finance. They administer the Act of Grace scheme.


For more information on Act of Grace payments please see the Act of Grace website (Department of Finance).