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What happens after I lodge my application?

We send you a confirmation letter explaining what will happen next.

We also notify other parties to the review that we have received the application. As well as you, the parties are:

  • Centrelink
  • in some cases, another person affected by the decision, such as the other parent or carer of the child in a review of a family assistance care percentage decision.

You can look at the Guide to Social Services and Related Jurisdiction for more information about what happens after you lodge the application. You can also watch our video guide

What if we cannot review the decision?

We will write to you and give you a chance to tell us why you think we can review the decision. If you do not respond or cannot show us that we can review the decision, we might dismiss the application.

Does the decision continue to operate during the review?

We cannot ask Centrelink to suspend the operation of the decision if you apply for a first review with us. You should contact Centrelink if you have any questions about whether your payments, or recovery of a debt, will continue while the decision is being reviewed by the AAT.

Documents relevant to the review

T documents

Centrelink will send us the decision and all relevant review documents within 28 days after being told the application has been received. These are called ‘T documents’.

Centrelink will also send the T documents to you and any other party.

T documents are provided under section 37 of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975.

Confidential T documents

Centrelink can ask the AAT for a direction that certain information within the T documents is not to be disclosed to you or any other party. You can also ask the AAT for a direction if there is information you do not want a party other than Centrelink to see. We will consider any application and tell you our decision.

Request the T documents earlier

You can ask for the T documents to be provided earlier if a delay would cause you hardship. We will consider any request and tell you our decision.

Giving us new information

You can give us new information that you think supports your case.


After you receive the documents from Centrelink we will usually write to you and any other party to the review to tell you the date, time and location for the hearing.

The hearing is an opportunity for you to present information and talk about why you disagree with the Centrelink decision under review.

Alternatives to a hearing

In some cases, particularly where there is very little scope for the AAT to change the decision under review, an AAT case assessment registrar might get in touch with you to discuss your options with you. A case assessment registrar is an experienced AAT staff member with specialist knowledge in Centrelink matters who can discuss:

  • the decision that has been made
  • what outcome you are seeking from the AAT
  • any further information you can provide to assist with your review
  • whether you would like to explore options other than a review at the AAT – for example, if you believe you have missed out on entitlements due to incorrect advice by Centrelink staff, you may be able to make a claim to Services Australia under a CDDA scheme
  • referral to independent legal advice where available.

If you wish to continue to a hearing, the case assessment registrar can also discuss fast-tracking your matter. If you advise that you wish to withdraw your application you will be provided with a seven day cooling off period before your application is brought to an end.