Who can get it

You need to meet eligibility rules to get the Australian Victim of Terrorism Overseas Payment (AVTOP).

The Prime Minister must formally declare an overseas attack as a terrorist act for AVTOP to be activated.

To get AVTOP, you must meet all of the following:

  • you are a primary victim or secondary victim
  • you were an Australian resident, on the day the declared overseas terrorist act occurred
  • you or your close family members weren’t involved in the commission of the declared overseas terrorist act.

You must also meet at least one of the following, you:

  • were in the place and were harmed as a direct result of the declared overseas terrorist act
  • have a close family member who died as a direct result of the declared overseas terrorist act.

Read about which of these terms have specific meanings for AVTOP.

A primary victim is a person who was harmed as a direct result of a declared overseas terrorist act.

For primary victim claims, we consider all of the following:

  • the nature of the injury or disease suffered as a direct result of the terrorist act
  • the effect of the injury or disease on the person’s life
  • if the person failed to take reasonable steps to avoid harm or acted recklessly when the terrorist act occurred
  • if there was travel advice on an Australian Government website advising against travelling to the foreign country, region or place where the terrorist act occurred
  • if the person was directed by an official of Australia or a foreign country to leave or not go to the place where the terrorist act occurred
  • if the person was in the place where the terrorist act occurred for a humanitarian purpose
  • if the person was in the place where the terrorist act occurred on official business for the government of the Commonwealth, a state or territory
  • if the person has received financial assistance from a foreign country.

A secondary victim is a close family member of a person who died as a direct result of a declared overseas terrorist act.

AVTOP is shared between the eligible secondary victims who claim. We consider if any of the following apply:

  • the person has made a claim as a secondary victim of the terrorist act for another close family member
  • the close family member failed to take reasonable steps to avoid harm or acted recklessly when the terrorist act occurred
  • there was travel advice on an Australian Government website advising against travelling to the foreign country, region or place where the terrorist act occurred
  • the close family member was directed by an official of Australia or a foreign country to leave or not go to the place where the terrorist act occurred
  • the close family member was in the place where the terrorist act occurred for a humanitarian purpose
  • the close family member was in the place where the terrorist act occurred on official business for the government of the Commonwealth, a state or territory
  • the person claiming, other secondary victims or the close family member has received financial assistance from a foreign country for the event or death of the close family member
  • the close family member received AVTOP as a primary victim
  • the close family member died as a direct result of the declared terrorist act within 2 years of the event.

For the purposes of this payment, in the place means you:

  • were close enough to the place where the declared overseas terrorist act occurred to be physically injured or harmed
  • experienced the terrorist act first-hand.

Experiencing the terrorist act first-hand means being present, and personally experiencing the terrorist act direct from the original source.

People who went to the place where the terrorist act occurred immediately following the act to help victims are also considered to be in the place. This includes arriving at the scene of the act before a victim is moved to another location.

Being in the place doesn’t include any of the following:

  • travelling to the place to find someone
  • seeing debris and property damage resulting from the terrorist act
  • providing first responder services in an official capacity
  • dealing with police, medical authorities or Australian Embassy or Consular officials.

Harmed includes any physical or psychological injury suffered as a direct result of the declared overseas terrorist act.

A close family member of the victim at the time of the declared overseas terrorist act, is any of the following:

  • partner
  • child
  • parent, including legal guardian
  • sibling.

A legal guardian is someone who’s been granted guardianship of a child. It can be granted to a single person, or jointly with another person or persons.

Guardianship is granted under the law:

  • of the Commonwealth
  • of a state or territory.

If you’d like more information, you can call our Australian victim of terrorism overseas hotline.

Page last updated: 9 May 2024.
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