Limitation periods and out-of-time applications

Most legal claims must be made within a certain amount of time. The time-frame for making a claim is sometimes called the “limitation period”. The exact amount of time you have to make a claim depends on what type of claim you’re making. For example, claims for discrimination to the Equal Opportunity Commission have a one year limitation period, so if your employer discriminated against you, you would have one year from the date of the discrimination to make a claim with the Equal Opportunity Commission.

Some claims can be made out of time – i.e. after the limitation period has expired. For most claims, it is very difficult to get a claim accepted outside the limitation period. You might be able to make an out-of-time application where you have a very good reason for not being able to make the claim within the limitation period. Saying that you didn’t know about the limitation period or that you were too stressed to make the claim is unlikely to be accepted as a good reason for not having made your claim within the limitation period.

For further information on out-of-time applications, see our fact sheet Missed the deadline for making a claim: what can you do?. If you need to know the limitation period for a particular type of claim, see our fact sheet on that type of claim.