Social Security

An application for a first review of a decision by a Centrelink Authorised Review Officer (ARO) or a Centrelink Subject Matter Expert (SME) can be made at any time after the decision is made. However, if the review is about payment of a Centrelink benefit, the applicant should make the application within 13 weeks of the Centrelink ARO or SME decision. This is because back-pay may not be payable if a successful application for review is lodged more than 13 weeks after the ARO or SME decision.

Family Assistance

Family Tax Benefit by instalment and family assistance debts

There is no time limit for making an application for a first review of a decision by a Centrelink ARO or SME where the decision relates to the payment of family tax benefit by instalments or to the raising of a debt. However, if the decision relates to the payment of family tax benefit by instalments, the applicant should lodge the application within 13 weeks of the Centrelink ARO or SME decision. This is because back-pay may not be payable if a successful application for review is made more than 13 weeks after the ARO or SME decision.

All other family assistance decisions

All other applications for a first review of a decision by a Centrelink ARO or SME under the family assistance law must be made within 13 weeks of the applicant being notified of a decision.

Can the time limit be extended?

Yes. If the AAT determines that there are special circumstances that prevented the application from being made within 13 weeks the AAT may permit the application to be made after the 13 week period.

Student Assistance

An application for a first review of a decision by a Centrelink ARO or SME must be made within 3 months of the decision.

Can the time limit be extended?

Yes. If the AAT determines that there are special circumstances, the AAT may allow the application to be made within a longer period.

Paid Parental Leave

Claimant reviews

A claimant has 28 days from the date of the Centrelink ARO or SME decision to make the application for a first review of an AAT reviewable claimant decision.

Can the time limit be extended?

Yes. The AAT may extend the time for the making of an application if the AAT is satisfied that it is reasonable in all the circumstances to do so. .

Employer reviews

An application for a first review of an AAT reviewable employer decision must be made within 14 days after the day on which the Centrelink ARO or SME decision was made.

Can the time limit be extended?

No. The AAT cannot extend the time for making an application after the 14 day period has expired.

Child Support

Care percentage decision

There is no time limit for making an application for a first review of a decision of the Child Support Registrar on an objection to a care percentage decision. However, the applicant should make the application within 28 days (or 90 days if you live overseas) of the notice of the decision of the Child Support Registrar on the objection being given to you. This is because a favourable decision by the AAT may not become effective from an earlier date if an application for review is late.

All other child support decisions

An application for a first review must be made within:

  • 28 days of the notice of the decision of the Child Support Registrar on the objection being given to you; or
  • 90 days of the notice of the decision of the Child Support Registrar on the objection being given to you if you live overseas in a reciprocating jurisdiction.

Reciprocating jurisdictions are listed in Schedule 2 to the Child Support (Registration and Collection) Regulations 1988.

Can the time limit be extended?

Yes. You may make an application for review which includes an application for extension of time asking the AAT to consider the late application for review. The application must be in writing and state the reasons for the failure to apply for review within the relevant period.

An application for extension of time may be made on the application for review form. If an extension application is necessary, the AAT cannot register the application for review unless the extension of time has been granted.

For more information, see the Child Support Review Directions.