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Sexual abuse redress scheme again sees demand spike

Demand for compensation by victim-survivors of institutional child sexual abuse continues to soar.

The National Redress Scheme is getting 790 applications each month and hit a record 906 in January.

The social services department, whose senior officials will front an inquiry into the scheme on Thursday, says that's compared to an average of 307 applications per month in the three years up to March 2022.

From more than 22,000 applications, nearly 12,000 offers have been made at an average of $88,000.

That's significantly higher than the royal commission's estimation of $65,000, the department said.

It added that the scheme was more complex than anticipated, with four in five survivors naming more than one institution and 31 per cent naming four or more.

The department's submission to the inquiry suggests that's adding more pressure when processing claims.

"Institutions can have complex historical structures which need to be worked through in relation to institutional participation," it reads.

"The scheme has observed a change in the types of institutions identified in redress applications, with more small and obscure institutions being named. This is more resource intensive ... as it is often more difficult to identify and support the onboarding of these institutions."

The department has also implemented a range of measures to assist First Nations through the claims process due to high rates among their community.

Indigenous survivors make up 36 per cent of the scheme's applicants, an increase from 23 per cent when the scheme began.

"Given the significant proportion of survivors who are First Nations Australians ... the department has implemented a range of measures to ensure survivors are supported through the application process," the submission reads.