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About the SSAT 

The Social Security Appeals Tribunal is a merits review tribunal established by Ministerial Instruction in 1975 and by the Social Security Act 1947 in 1988. The SSAT's existence was continued by the Social Security Act 1991 and then by the Social Security (Administration) Act 1999. The SSAT is not an agency for the purposes of the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997. The role of the Tribunal is to provide independent merits review of administrative decisions and in carrying out its statutory functions, the SSAT is required to pursue the objective of providing a mechanism of review that is fair, just, economical, informal and quick.

The SSAT can only review a decision if an act or regulation or other legislative instrument specifically provides that a decision is subject to review by the SSAT. The SSAT reviews decisions made under twelve Commonwealth Acts including the Social Security Act 1991, Social Security (Administration) Act 1999, A New Tax System (Family Assistance) Act 1999, A New Tax System (Family Assistance) (Administration) Act 1999, Paid Parental Leave Act 2010, Child Support (Assessment) Act 1989 and the Child Support (Registration and Collection) Act 1988.

The Tribunal consists of a Principal Member, Deputy Principal Members, Senior Members and members. Members of the Tribunal are independent quasi-judicial officers whose pay and conditions are set by the Remuneration Tribunal under the Judicial and Related Officers' Determination.

Staff members are employed under the Public Service Act 1999 to assist the Tribunal to carry out its functions and are appointed or employed by the Secretary (to the Department of Social Services) and made available for that purpose to the SSAT. In practice, employees are engaged in exercise of power delegated by the Secretary to the Registrar.

The Principal Member and Registrar are located in the SSAT's National Office in Melbourne and the SSAT has a registry in the capital city of each State.