- Australian victims of overseas terrorist acts and their close family members may be eligible for compensation under Part 2.24AA of the Social Security Act 1991 (Cth).
- The eligibility criteria for receiving financial support are strictly construed.
- Other avenues are available for individuals unlikely to satisfy the legislative requirements.
The Social Security Amendment (Supporting Australian Victims of Terrorism Overseas) Act 2012 (Cth) intends to provide financial support for Australian victims of terrorist acts occurring overseas. Its operation has been considered in two cases before the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (the tribunal) in respect of the Bali and London bombings. Decisions by the Department of Social Services to refuse applications for payment had earlier been affirmed by the Social Security Appeals Tribunal. The issue to be determined in both cases was whether the applicants were in the place where the terrorist acts occurred. This article reviews the legislative framework and considers the implications of these two cases.