This morning, Australians woke up to terrible news of yet another senseless act of terror in New York. There are at least eight dead and more than a dozen people injured at this stage.
The surge in terrorist attacks in the last two decades has left many victims of terror often without additional governmental support to assist in the healing and treatment of their injuries.
Thankfully, the Australian Commonwealth government has been assertive in assisting Australian residents and their families to receive monetary assistance to help them through an incredibly harrowing and traumatic episode in their lives when they have been directly affected by an overseas terrorist attack.
In 2013, the Commonwealth instituted the Australian Victim of Terrorism Overseas Payment (AVTOP) under the Social Security Act 1991 (Cth) to allow persons directly injured by an overseas terrorist attack or alternatively, for persons who have had a close family member killed in an overseas terrorist attack to qualify for a one-off and lump sum payment (the payment).
The payment is made by the Commonwealth government directly through the Department of Human Services and can be up to $75,000.00 AUD.
In order to qualify for the payment, there are a number of criteria that must be satisfied as follows (not limited to):
This means that you must be in close proximity to the terrorist attack, witnessed the terrorist attack (e.g. seeing the terrorist attack) and suffered physical injuries and harm (including mental injuries) as direct result.
In addition, persons who were at the site of the overseas terrorist attack to render assistance to victims immediately after the attack before injured or dead victims are moved to another location would potentially be able to access the payment provided they suffered harm in the sense of mental injuries (e.g. suffering nervous shock at seeing the immediate aftermath of the overseas terrorist attack),
Close family member killed
In respect of persons directly injured by the terrorist attack, they are entitled to the 100% of the payment of the payment without any apportionment or sharing.
However, in respect of close family members, the payment is apportioned amongst all close family members of the person killed depending upon the number of close family members and their relationships with the person killed.
Whilst no amount of money can ever heal a person dealing with the trauma of a terrorist attack, the Commonwealth government has at least taken constructive steps to at least assist Australian residents to cope with the impact and shock of a terrorist attack upon their lives.
(Please note that this article is not intended as legal advice, and is for educational purposes only. Please contact the writer for additional information).
Subscription successful! Thank you for subscribing.