Apply to review a decision

Under the Disability Act 2006 VCAT can review decisions made by the Secretary to the Department of Human Services.

We can confirm or modify the decision, or make a new decision.

Need help with your application?

VCAT cannot give you legal advice. Seek legal help if you are unsure about your legal options. The following services may be able to help you:

Do I need a lawyer or professional representative?

You do not need to have legal or other professional representation to appear at VCAT. If you wish to be represented by a lawyer or a professional advocate, usually you must ask for VCAT's permission.

Some people have an automatic right to representation, which means they do not have to ask for VCAT's permission for legal representation.

Find free or low-cost legal services that may be able to assist you.

Access and privacy

VCAT hearings and files are usually public.

VCAT has limited authority to restrict who can access cases and files but, in certain circumstances, you can apply for confidentiality. For more about applying for confidentiality.

Legislation that applies to this type of case

Cases VCAT can hear

VCAT can review a decision made by the Secretary to the Department of Human Services. The decision may be about:

  • whether or not someone has a disability
  • whether to include the use of restraint or seclusion in a person's behaviour support plan
  • When we know that all parties have received a copy of the application we either schedule a directions hearing, where a VCAT member sets out a timetable for the case or list the application for a hearing. All parties must attend the directions hearing or hearing. They can attend in person or may have a lawyer or other representative appear on their behalf. Learn more about what happpens when VCAT opens a case.

  • Many cases at VCAT are decided at a hearing. Prepare early so you can present the best possible case. If you did not submit supporting documents with your application, you must ensure VCAT receives them at least three business days before the hearing. Learn more about how to prepare for your final hearing.

  • It is your responsibility to attend the hearing. Arrive at VCAT with plenty of time. When your case is called, move into the hearing room. Usually the applicant gets a chance to state their case and call witnesses first. Learn about what happens on final hearing day.

  • VCAT aims to make a decision in disputes as early as possible. If the member does not give a decision at the final hearing, we try to provide it within six weeks of the hearing. Learn about what to expect after your hearing.