What is changing and what is staying the same?
On 1 July 2015, the Migration Review Tribunal (MRT), Refugee Review Tribunal (RRT) and Social Security Appeals Tribunal (SSAT) merged with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT). The amalgamated AAT is a one-stop shop for the independent review of a wide range of decisions made by the Australian Government.
Decisions that could be reviewed in the former MRT-RRT are now reviewed in the AAT’s Migration & Refugee Division. Decisions that could be reviewed in the former SSAT are now reviewed in the AAT’s Social Services & Child Support Division. The AAT’s other jurisdictions are dealt with in one of the AAT’s six other Divisions which are the General Division, Freedom of Information Division, National Disability Insurance Scheme Division, Security Division, Taxation & Commercial Division and Veterans’ Appeals Division.
What happens if my application to the MRT, RRT or SSAT was not completed before 1 July?
If you applied to the MRT or RRT for a review of a decision made by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and a decision was not made by the MRT or RRT before 1 July 2015, your application will now be dealt with in the AAT’s Migration & Refugee Division. You do not need to do anything because of this change.
Similarly, if you applied to the SSAT for a review of a decision made by the Department of Human Services (including decisions about social security, family assistance and child support) and a decision was not made by the SSAT before 1 July 2015, your application will now be dealt with in the Social Services & Child Support Division of the AAT. You do not need to do anything because of this change.
Can I still apply for review of decisions that were previously reviewed in the SSAT?
The two levels of merits review that existed for certain decisions reviewed by the SSAT are still available. People who are dissatisfied with a decision made by the AAT’s Social Services & Child Support Division in relation to most Centrelink decisions and a limited number of child support decisions can apply for a second review in the AAT’s General Division.
Will there be any changes to procedures?
From 1 July, the AAT will introduce new practice directions, guides, guidelines and forms as part of implementing the new arrangements. We are revising these documents to incorporate procedural and other changes made necessary by changes to legislation. We are also seeking to harmonise our procedures where possible and streamline our documents.
In general, however, the review processes that applied in the AAT, MRT, RRT and SSAT prior to 1 July have been preserved in the amalgamated AAT. Some significant changes to the AAT’s existing procedures are proposed for the review of decisions in the Taxation & Commercial Division. A new practice direction has been made which will outline the way in which we will manage these kinds of reviews.
Are AAT contact details and locations changing?
We have a new phone number – 1800 228 333 – which you can use to call us from anywhere in Australia. We also have new email addresses for the AAT’s divisions. These are:
General enquiries can be sent to us by completing our online form and correspondence about corporate matters can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Previous contact details for the amalgamating tribunals will be maintained for at least six months from 1 July 2015. If you have an old email address, phone number or fax number for the AAT, MRT-RRT or SSAT, it will continue to work until at least 31 December 2015. Some contact details will be phased out over time but we will provide notice of this on the website in advance of any changes.
All AAT, MRT-RRT and SSAT registries and offices remain open. Some locations may change over time as we move to combine our office accommodation in some cities. Check the ‘Contact Us’ page of our website for our current locations if you are planning to visit the AAT.
The AAT website remains – www.aat.gov.au – but the site has a new look and new information about the amalgamated Tribunal. The AAT website still links through to the former MRT-RRT and SSAT websites for information relating to the Migration & Refugee Division and the Social Services & Child Support Division. Those websites have been updated to reflect the merger.
Over time, we will move information from the MRT-RRT and SSAT websites to the new AAT website and eventually close the MRT-RRT and SSAT sites. We will let people know well before we do this by putting a message on our websites.
How can I find out more?
Call us on 1800 228 333 (calls are free from landline phones, however calls from mobiles may be charged).
Non-English speakers can call the Translating and Interpreting Service on 131 450 and ask them to call the AAT.
If you are deaf, or have a hearing or speech impairment, contact us through the National Relay Service (www.relayservice.gov.au) and give the AAT number you want to call.