You do not need to be represented at a hearing for a first review of a Centrelink or child support decision. You can deal with us directly or, if the AAT allows, you can appoint someone to represent you and act on your behalf in relation to your application.

Tribunal officers can assist you during the course of a review by providing information about procedures, the status of applications, interpreters and other assistance available to parties to a review.

If the AAT allows you to have a person to represent you, this person is known as your representative. Your representative can:

  • communicate with us on your behalf,
  • forward written submissions and written evidence on your behalf to us,
  • request access to documents in relation to your application, and
  • accompany you to your hearing.

Organisations that may be able to help you make an application and prepare for a hearing are listed on the Help with your review page of this website.

If you have a representative, the AAT will not generally permit both you and your representative to make submissions at the hearing. However, you will still need to attend the hearing to give evidence and answer any questions from the AAT.

In the Social Services & Child Support (SSCS) Division, the AAT does not pay and cannot make any order for the payment of the costs of a representative.

First review of decisions about child support

If you want a lawyer or another person to represent you in a first review of a decision about child support, you must request permission in writing (by email, post or fax). You can complete the Request for Representation form. In deciding whether to give permission, the AAT must have regard to the wishes of the parties and the need to protect their privacy.

Making an application on behalf of someone else

We will only accept an application for a first review of a decision about child support from:

  • a lawyer instructed by a person so listed to make the application (with a signed authority as representative, or instructions to act on law firm letterhead),
  • the holder of a Power of Attorney authorising the commencement of legal proceedings (with a Power of Attorney),
  • the appointed guardian of the person who lacks legal capacity (with an Order appointing a guardian), or
  • the executor or administrator of the deceased estate of the person (with a copy of the Will and/or Probate or Letters of Administration).

More information is available in the Child Support Review Directions.

First review of Centrelink decisions (including Paid Parental Leave decisions)

If you want to have someone (such as a family member, lawyer or advocate) represent you in a first review of a Centrelink decision, you must complete, sign and submit to us an Authority for Representative form which is available on the Centrelink forms page of this website - either with your application or at the time you decide to appoint a representative.