How to accept a payment offer

This page provides information for people who applied for the BSWAT Payment Scheme (the Scheme) before 30 November  2017 and were made a payment offer.

There are three steps to accept a payment once you have received a Letter of Offer.

  1. Get financial counselling (if your offer is over $1000 you must do this)
  2. Get legal advice (if you want to)
  3. Send the acceptance form, and financial counselling and legal advice certificates, to the Department by the due date in your Letter of Offer.  

Help and information

If you have questions or need help, call the BSWAT Payment Scheme information line on 1800 799 515.

1. Get financial counselling

An Easy Read fact sheet on financial counselling is available here.

Watch this video for information about getting financial counselling and legal advice.

Some applicants must get financial counselling before they can accept a payment offer.

Other applicants who receive a payment offer can choose to get financial counselling.

A financial counsellor will help you to understand how a BSWAT payment will affect your financial situation.

If the payment offer is over $1,000, you must get financial counselling.

You can choose to see any fully accredited financial counsellor. If you don’t have a financial counsellor that you want to use, you can choose one from the list of BSWAT registered financial counsellors.

If you need help to make a booking with a financial counsellor, you can call Financial Counselling Australia on 1800 896 702 and ask for help to make an appointment.

Important: A financial counsellor is not the same as a financial adviser or accountant. Financial Counselling Australia will make sure that your appointment is with an accredited financial counsellor.

Attachment C in the Letter of Offer must be signed by the financial counsellor. You will need to send the signed certificate to us with your acceptance form.

If the payment offer is under $1,000, you do not have to get financial counselling - but you can choose to.

If you don’t see a financial counsellor, you must sign Attachment C and send it to us.

You do not have to see a financial counsellor if you have a nominee who is a State or Public Trustee, or a Trustee Company, and they are authorised by law to make financial decisions for you. If your nominee is a Trustee and you choose not to receive financial counselling, your nominee must sign Attachment C.

Financial counselling is free.

2. Get legal advice

Every applicant who receives a Letter of Offer can choose to get legal advice.

If you choose to get legal advice, the legal advisor must sign Attachment B in the Letter of Offer. You will need to send the signed certificate to us with your acceptance form.

You can choose to receive legal advice from any qualified legal practitioner.

If you don’t have a legal advisor that you want to use, you can choose one from the list of BSWAT registered legal advisors.

We will pay for legal advice, up to the amount of $850 (incl GST).

If you choose not to get legal advice, you must sign Attachment B and send it to us.

3. Send us the three forms by the due date

If you want to accept the payment offer, we must receive the following three documents by the due date listed in the Letter of Offer:

  1. Attachment B: Signed Legal Advice Certificate
  2. Attachment C: Signed Financial Counselling Certificate
  3. Attachment D: Signed Acceptance Form.

Once you accept the offer we will pay the amount in your Letter of Offer into your bank account.

We will make the payment as soon as possible after you have accepted the offer.

An Easy Read fact sheet about how to accept your payment offer is available here.

Requesting an extension of time

If you need more time to consider the offer, you can ask for an extension of up to 28 days.  

Call us on 1800 799 515 before the due date in the Letter of Offer to ask for an extension of time.

Important: If you accept an offer of payment, you will not be able to take part in any current or future legal case or claim in relation to BSWAT.

You can only change your mind before the date that is listed in your Letter of Offer. This is very important.

You cannot change your mind after you accept an offer or receive a payment.

Declining an offer

You can also decide to decline the offer if you don’t want to receive a payment. If you decide to decline the offer, you don’t need to do anything.

Contact us

If you need help accepting your offer or would like an extension, call the BSWAT Payment Scheme information line on 1800 799 515 or send an email to bswatpayments@dss.gov.au.

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