Am I entitled to apply for compensation?
The Redress Board will consider applications for compensation from anyone, or on behalf of anyone, who suffered abuse while a child and while resident in an institution in Northern Ireland between 1922 and 1995 or who was sent to Australia as part of the Child Migrants Programme.
Can I apply on behalf of someone who has died?
Yes. You can apply on behalf of someone who died on or after 28 April 1953 if you are the deceased’s spouse, civil partner, co-habiting partner, or a child of the deceased but not a step child. Please review the checklist for submitting an application on behalf of a deceased person which provides details of the additional documents you are required to submit. Please note that you should only submit an application when you have obtained all of the necessary documents.
How do I apply for compensation?
Your solicitor can complete an online application for you or, if you are not legally represented, you can print a hard copy application to complete and return to the Redress Board. You can also get a printed form from the office of COSICA. We reccommend that you read the guidance for completing an online or hard copy application in advance of starting the process. You should complete the Statement of Experience (SoE) provided on our website. We know that re-telling and re-living these experiences can be distressing and re-traumatising for victims and survivors. Health and Wellbeing Caseworkers are available within Victim and Survivor Service (VSS) to assist with detailing your experiences on your application. Please see our support services page for further details. Before completing the SoE it is recommended that you read the examples of abuse and Banding Guidance documents.
Is there any assistance available to help with completion of the Statement of Experience?
We know that re-telling and re-living these experiences can be distressing and re-traumatising for survivors. Health and Wellbeing Caseworkers are available within Victim and Survivor Service (VSS) to assist with detailing your experiences on your application. Please see our support services page for further details.
Can I make more than one application?
No. You can only submit one application to the Redress Board but this application can relate to your experience in more than one institution.
If I have already given evidence to the Hart Inquiry do I have to submit further evidence to the Redress Board?
No. If you provided evidence to the Hart Inquiry you are not required to provide any further evidence unless you wish to do so. The Redress Board will obtain a copy of your evidence from the Public Records Office Northern Ireland (PRONI) on your behalf. But you do need to submit a completed application and supporting materials required under the rules.
Who will decide if I am entitled to compensation?
A Redress Board panel, which consists of two non-judicial members with a health and social care background and one judicial member, will consider the information in your application and any additional relevant evidence you wish to provide. Your solicitor may advise and assist you with this.
Will I have to attend a hearing?
Most applications will be determined based on the papers you have provided. However, in exceptional circumstances, the panel may direct that an oral hearing should take place. If you are legally represented your solicitor may speak on your behalf and you can bring a friend for support. In most cases the oral hearing will be held in private.
How much compensation will I receive?
If your application is successful, the Redress Board panel may decide to award you a standard payment of £10,000 or an enhanced payment, based on the severity of the matters in your application, of up to a maximum of £80,000. If you were sent to Australia under the Child Migrants Programme and you have not already been awarded compensation under the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) scheme, you will receive £20,000.
How long will it take the panel to decide how much compensation I should receive?
The time taken to process an application will vary for a number of reasons including; the complexity of the matters indentified in the application; the availability and accuracy of records; the status of the institution; queries around jurisdiction; the behaviours of the parties; and whether all of the necessary statutory proofs and evidentiary documentation required under the Rules have been submitted with the application. The length of time it takes to decide will also depend on the complexity of your application and the volume of applications received. The Board has set an indicative 16 week internal application management timetable to manage complete and compliant applications from receipt to consideration before a panel. This timeline will inevitably be extended for incomplete applications and applications in which the Redress Board has to carry out further investigations to assist the applicant in confirming their attendance at an institution.
How will I know if my application has been successful?
When the panel has made its decision the Redress Board will write to your solicitor, or directly to you if you do not have a solicitor, to advise you how much compensation you have been awarded. You will have 21 days from the date the letter was issued to accept or appeal your award. The Board encourages you to take legal advice when deciding to accept of appeal determination of a panel.
What happens if I am unhappy about the decision, either not to pay compensation or the amount of money awarded?
You can appeal the decision of the panel. A single judicial member of the Redress Board will consider the appeal on behalf of the Board and may decide to confirm the panel's decision, reverse the decision or increase or reduce the amount of the award of compensation.
Do I need to be legally represented?
No. However, a solicitor will be able to advise you and help you complete your application form.
Will I need to pay legal costs?
The Redress Board will pay your legal representative his/her costs in accordance with the provisions set out in the Rules (see in particular the tables of scale costs in the Schedule).
How do I contact the Redress Board?
PO Box 2266
If you have a query about your application after it has been submitted to the Redress Board you must contact your solicitor who should update you on the progress of your application.