Key takeaways

  • An Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) assessment is a crucial tool for accessing government-subsidized home care or residential aged care.
  • The ACAT team will assess the individual's needs, eligibility for government support and the most suitable services.
  • The assessment typically takes 45-75 minutes and involves discussions about the individual's health, living situation, and support needs.

What is an ACAT assessment?

Two people sitting at table looking at documents.

And do I need to prepare anything?

An ACAT assessment is the gateway to be able to access government subsidised home care or residential aged care.

The assessment provides you and possible aged care providers with a clearer understanding of what services would provide the most support for you.

You can organise an assessment through the My Aged Care portal. To find out how to organise an ACAT assessment, click here.

The My Aged Care team will let you know expected wait times for an assessment when you make your initial application with My Aged Care.

Preparing for the assessment

To prepare for the assessment, the ACAT team recommend collecting:

  • Your Medicare card.
  • One form of identification proof, this could be a drivers license, passport, or DVA card for example.
  • Any referrals from your doctor.
  • Contact information for your GP or any other health professionals.
  • Any questions you have about aged care services you may wish to ask.
  • A summary of any current support you receive.

You may also wish to consider if you would like a support person present. This could include a family member, a friend or an advocate.

It is also important to organise any special assistance you may require to communicate, for example a translator or AUSLAN interpreter.

Assessment type

When organising an ACAT assessment, the My Aged Care team will ask you some initial questions regarding the support you may require. These questions help the My Aged Care team determine which type of assessment you will receive.

There are two types of assessments, a RAS assessment (conducted by the Regional Assessment Service) or an ACAT assessment (conducted by the Aged Care Assessment Team). Both assessments aim to determine your care needs and what government support you are eligible for.

  1. Regional Assessment Service (RAS)

If the information you provided to My Aged Care indicates you are still quite independent and only need an entry level amount of support, you will receive a home visit from the RAS assessor. These assessors provide assessments for the Commonwealth Home Support Programme.

Find out more about the Commonwealth Home Support Programme here.

  1. Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT)

If you are requiring a greater amount of support, you will receive a comprehensive assessment with the Aged Care Assessment Team. The ACAT team will assess you for Home Care Packages, short-term care options and residential aged care.

Discover more about Home Care Packages here. Got questions about residential aged care? Click here

On the day

Your assessor will arrive at the agreed upon time. You can expect the assessment to take between 45 and 75 minutes.

The assessor will talk to you about your needs, your health and your living situation. They may ask you any of the following:

  • How you're managing with routine activities and if you require help with them.
  • What support you have from family or friends.
  • What health conditions you have or medications you take.
  • How you feel your health is and whether you are having memory problems.

They'll also make sure you understand the process of receiving aged care and discuss your options going forward.

If you would like some tips to ensure you get the support you require, give us a call on 1300 223 968 or email [email protected].

The assessor will develop a support plan with you which records what you discussed during your assessment. Your support plan explains your situation and which care options and services will be best to help you.

What happens after the assessment?

If you had an assessment with the Regional Assessment Service for a Commonwealth Home Support Package, you will normally find out if you are eligible at the assessment.

For assessments with the Aged Care Assessment Team, you will receive a letter within two to six weeks post assessment.

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