To apply for ACAT you need to be 65 years or older (or 50 years or older if you’re Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander).
You don’t need to be an Australian citizen, but you do need to be an Australian resident with a valid Medicare card.
You can apply online via the government portal, My Aged Care.
At IRT, we’re always happy to help at any stage of the process
Call 13 44 78 (Mon–Fri, 8.30am–5pm AEST), or enquire online.
To find out if you’re eligible, there are actually two assessments involved. You first need to do a simple preliminary assessment by phone or email to see if you qualify for an ACAT assessment, then the actual face-to-face ACAT assessment can go ahead. You can access the first one via My Aged Care’s online assessment tool or by calling 1800 200 422.
During the initial assessment, you may be asked:
There are two types of face-to-face assessments
The information you provide during your initial call with My Aged Care will determine the type of face-to-face assessment you receive. If you have indicated you have:
The Regional Assessment Service (RAS) will contact you to assess you for the Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP), which aims to keep you living independently in your home. This program can give you access to one or two subsidised entry-level home care services.
The Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) will contact you to assess you for:
An ACAT representative will visit you at your own home or in hospital (if you’ve been admitted) so that they can assess your needs for care and support. Consider having a family member or your carer with you. Beyond offering extra comfort, they may also make it much easier to provide the assessor with necessary information or make the process a bit smoother for you generally.
What to prepare before your assessment:
Expect to discuss and go through:
You’ll also need to arrange an income and asset assessment to calculate how much you can afford to contribute towards the cost of your aged care services. The Government then uses this to determine how much funding you receive for care services.
Applying for a Home Care Package: If you have been assessed as being able to contribute, you may be asked to pay an income-tested care fee towards your Home Care Package.
Moving into an aged care centre: Depending on the outcome of your assessment, you may be asked to pay a means-tested care fee and accommodation costs.
Note: Just be aware that it can take up to six weeks to receive your assessment outcome.
After your face-to-face assessment, your information will be reviewed and you’ll find out by letter if you’re eligible. This letter will tell you:
Once you’re approved for a package, you’ll be placed in the Government’s national queue until it’s allocated to you. There is currently a large demand for Home Care Packages and they’re allocated through a priority system, based on the date of approval and the priority for care.
Note: You only have 56 days to choose a service provider once you’re allocated your package.
If you need more time to find a provider you can also call MAC and ask for a 28 day extension. There are some conditions to this, for example, you can only request an extension once.
Once you’re approved to receive aged care services, it’s time to find a suitable provider. If you haven’t already, contact us to discuss:
If you have chosen IRT as the provider that best meets your needs, we will work with you to develop a plan based on your care needs, goals and what is important to you. Before your services begin, we’ll provide you with a formal agreement to review.
What if I’m not approved for Government funding?
If you aren’t eligible for either residential aged care or a Home Care Package, you’ll receive a letter from your assessor outlining the reasons why.
Home care services: We may be able to arrange private home care services for you.
Aged care centres: You can still apply to live at one of our aged care centres and access 24/7 care in a supportive environment. You’ll just have higher fees without the Government funding.
You may find that since your last assessment your needs or circumstances have changed and you require increased levels of support and Government funding. Depending on your situation, you can take the appropriate steps that are best fit for you:
Already receiving Government-funded aged care services:
The first step is to contact your current provider and request a review of your care plan. They will contact your My Aged Care assessor and may recommend amending your current care plan or arranging a reassessment.
You weren’t eligible in the past:
If you were deemed ineligible in the past, your needs or circumstances may have changed since your last assessment. A benefit of the ACAT assessment is you can request a reassessment at any time.
We’d love to find out more about you to see how we can help. Our Customer Service team operates from 8:30am – 5pm 7 days a week. Call us on 134 478.
Don’t have time to call? Submit an online enquiry form and our friendly team will be in touch.
For an ACAT assessment, you should have the following information:
Once you have submitted your ACAT assessment, an assessor will be assigned your case. In most cases this assessment will take between 45 and 75 minutes.
It can take up to six weeks to get an ACAT assessment once you apply, depending on how urgent your situation is and the level of care you need. If your situation is urgent because you are at risk of harm or in a crisis situation, an ACAT assessment can be completed within two days.
Your assessor will determine your eligibility and level of priority based on your care needs and you current situation. You may be eligible if:
In short, yes. If you are unhappy with the decision and the level of care you have been assigned, you are able appeal assessment decision. You must submit your written application to the Department of Social Services within 28 days of the receipt date on your ACAT letter. If the outcome from this review is still not to your satisfaction, then you can apply to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
ACAT assessors have extensive experience and are required to have a bachelor’s degree in a clinical/specialist area and complete a Statement of Attainment in My Aged Care Training, Advanced Assessment Practice.
An ACAT team is usually made up of a:
ACAT assessors are experienced in understanding the wide spectrum of needs of older people and knowing the various service providers in your local area.
No, there is no fee associated with the ACAT assessment.
You don’t need to be alone in this process. You are more than welcome to bring along a family member, friend or a carer to your assessment. If you require a translator, this can also be arranged by your assessor.
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