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When will I receive the decision?

We will usually make a decision after conducting a hearing.

You will receive our decision at the end of the hearing or in writing at a later date.

Watch our video guide for more information about receiving our decision.

Oral decision at the end of the hearing

We might tell you our decision and the reasons for that decision at the end of the hearing. This is called an oral decision.

We will send you and the original decision-maker a notice that sets out our decision without written reasons. If you want a written copy of the reasons, you must ask for them within 28 days after you receive the decision.

Decision in writing

If we do not tell you our decision at the hearing, we will usually send a notice of the decision and the written reasons within 2 months of the hearing.

A copy is also sent to the decision-maker and any other party.

What does the decision mean?

We can make the following decisions:

  • Affirm the decision: the decision is not changed
  • Vary the decision: the decision is changed
  • Set aside the decision and substitute a new decision: the decision is replaced with a new decision
  • Set aside and remit the decision: the matter is sent back to the decision-maker to make a new decision.

Can I have my costs paid if I am successful?

If we vary the decision under review in a way that is favourable to you, or set aside the decision and substitute a decision which is more favourable to you, we may order that the decision-maker pay some or all of the costs you have incurred. We may consider whether you or the decision-maker have incurred unnecessary costs when determining whether to award costs and the amount of costs.

If we set aside the decision under review and remit it to the decision-maker to be determined again, in most cases we must make an order that the decision-maker pay the costs you have incurred.

We may also award costs to the decision-maker where they have lodged an application for review of a decision under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988.

You and the decision-maker can agree on costs. If you cannot agree, you or the decision maker can ask the AAT to determine the amount of costs. 

What happens next?

The decision-maker must implement our decision or lodge an appeal with the Federal Court within 28 days after receiving our decision. If there is another party to the review they can also lodge an appeal.

If our decision has not been put into action and there has been no appeal after 28 days, you should contact the person who represented the decision-maker at the hearing. They should be able to explain why there might be a delay.

You can contact the Commonwealth Ombudsman if you are unhappy with a delay.

What if I do not agree with the decision?

If you think our decision is wrong you can appeal to the Federal Court, but only on a question of law.

An appeal to the Federal Court must be made within 28 days after receiving our decision.

Is the decision made public?

Yes. The decision will usually be made publicly available on the internet including on the AustLII website

Look at the Publication of decisions policy for more information about the decisions we publish.

If you are concerned about information that has been, or might be, published in a decision, you can apply to us not to publish some information or the entire decision. Write to us stating what you want kept confidential and why. If we are satisfied it is in the public interest, we can decide to:

  • edit a decision to remove information
  • not publish a decision, or
  • recall a published decision.