Once you have made your application to the AAT, the next step is a confirmation from the AAT. They will send you a letter confirming they have received the application, and with some information about the process.
They will also send you a letter explaining when the first meeting will be. This might come with the confirmation letter, or might come afterwards.
We describe the main types of first meetings below. They are all held by telephone you, don’t have to go to the Tribunal to attend.
You can tell the Tribunal who you need with you to support you at these meetings.
The first meeting is unlikely to be earlier than six weeks after your application. This is because the NDIA has 28 days to lodge the “T documents”.
The “T documents” are all the documents they have on file that they used to make the decision. You will get a copy of these.
The entire AAT process can take over a year from start to end. Receiving a letter about a case conference is just the very first step.
- Case conference – a meeting to talk about the appeal. The NDIA will attend, and so will a conference registrar. You will talk about what might help to resolve the issues you disagree on. There will normally be more than one of these, maybe a few. The conference registrar is NOT a decision maker, they are only there to see if you can work it out with the NDIA
- Interlocutory hearing – most people won’t have one of these. If one of these has been booked, it probably means there is a question about whether the AAT can hear the appeal.
- Directions hearing – this is a hearing before an AAT member. A member is a decision maker. But a directions hearing is about how the case is going and what happens next, it is not about the issue itself.
- Hearing – this is like what you see on television. There are two sides, you and the NDIA. Both sides explain their case. Both sides can bring witnesses to give evidence. The member listens to both arguments and makes a decision. That decision might be made on the day, but it is more likely that it will come some time later.