About the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT)

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) is an agency that reviews administrative decisions that are made by the Australian Government, which includes Centrelink decisions. 

Where is the AAT?

The AAT is located at Level 2, 1 King William Street Adelaide, 5000

What can I expect at my hearing?

Your hearing will be fairly informal. You will sit down with a Tribunal Member and be able to explain your circumstances. You will present documents to the member and he/she will ask you any questions for clarification. If you are representing yourself, you and the Tribunal member will be the only people present at this hearing.

Can someone else represent me at the AAT hearing?

Yes. If you would like a lawyer or another professional person to represent you, you will have to arrange this and let the AAT know as soon as possible. The AAT will not pay for any costs of a lawyer or professional person to represent you. AATLAS will not legally represent you at your AAT hearing.

A representative could also be a family member or friend.  A representative can:

  • receive all documents relating to the review on your behalf
  • communicate with us on your behalf
  • give us written evidence and written submissions on your behalf
  • attend the hearing.

How should I address the Tribunal members?

You may address him/her as ‘Member.’ Tribunal members are not judges so you do not have to address them as ‘your Honour’.

How should I dress?

Although the Tribunal does not take place in a court you are still presenting your case to the Member. You should wear something smart, comfortable and clean.

What evidence should I bring?

Anything relevant to your case that supports your claim. You can also send these documents to the AAT before your hearing.

This might include documents such as:

  • Letters from Centrelink
  • Doctors letters
  • Medical reports
  • Financial records
  • Payslips

If you are not sure about what evidence to bring with you to your hearing, you can contact the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Legal Advice Service (AATLAS). AATLAS can provide you with free advice on how to approach your claim, evidence which should be supplied and things you should highlight to the Member during your hearing. If you would like to book an interview with AATLAS, contact us by email at aatlas@adelaide.edu.au or by phone on 1800 228 333.

What are the possible outcomes of my AAT hearing?

  • Affirm: If the Member affirms the decision, then the original decision has not changed and your appeal is unsuccessful.
  • Vary: If the Member varies the decision, then the original decision has changed and your appeal is successful. This does not mean that your decision will be changed to exactly what you want.
  • Set Aside: The previous decision is removed and a new decision is made by the Member.
  • Remit: The Member sends the original decision back to Centrelink to make a new decision.
  • No Jurisdiction: The Member will not make any decision where he/she feels the AAT has no jurisdiction over the matter.
  • Confirm: If you miss your hearing, the appeal will be dismissed and the original decision does not change.

What are the steps of an AAT hearing?

Before your hearing: Once you have requested an appeal through the AAT, someone will contact you from the AAT. They will give you documents and set a date for the hearing. You can ask for an appointment with AATLAS to seek legal advice.

During your hearing:You will discuss your case with the Member and show them relevant evidence. The Member may not the result on the day. If this happens, then you will receive the result in writing shortly after your hearing.

After your hearing: If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your hearing, you can ask for the decision to be reviewed again by the AAT.

Who will be at my AAT hearing?

The AAT hearing will include only you and the Tribunal Member. If you arrange for someone else to represent you, such as a lawyer or other professional person, they will also be at the hearing. If necessary, an interpreter or support worker can be with you during the hearing. 

The agency that made the original decision, such as Centrelink, will not be at the hearing.

Can I bring anyone else with me to the AAT hearing?

Interpreter: If you require an interpreter, the AAT will set up a qualified interpreter to be there during the hearing for free.

Support person: If you need a support person to be with you during the hearing, you can talk to the AAT about this need and they can allow them to be with you during the hearing. A support person can be a friend, family member, or support worker.

Please visit AAT's website for more information:

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