FAQs – Eligibility and Assessment

FAQs – Eligibility and Assessment

What are the eligibility criteria for a Home Care Package?

Home Care Packages are meant for older people, but there is no minimum age requirement.

There are no citizenship or residency restrictions on Home Care Packages, however, they are not meant for visitors to Australia or people who need only temporary or short-term care. If you want short-term care, the Commonwealth Home Support Program might be a better option for you.

I’m a Veteran. Can I still get a Home Care Package?

Yes, people receiving help from the Department of Veterans Affairs under Veteran’s Home Care can also be assessed for a Home Care Package. You can have a Home Care Package and Veteran’s Home Care at the same time – many veterans receive both. Some Veterans are also eligible for a Veteran’s Mental Health Supplement.

What is the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT)?

The ACAT assess people’s eligibility for Home Care Packages and other residential care services.

They are professional health and community care clinicians who visit you at home to assess your needs. They do a comprehensive assessment for your eligibility for a Home Care Package, residential respite care or permanent residential care.

What happens during an assessment?

During the assessment visit, the ACAT clinician (usually a nurse, social worker or other health care professional) will ask questions about how well you are managing in your day-to-day life. They will also explain the assessment process and give you advice about on the types of care services that may help you to stay at home.

Your assessed needs will determine which level of Home Care Package you are eligible for. You will also be asked about whether you want approvals to use residential respite care in the future.

In some instances, when staying at home is no longer possible, the assessment can also help to determine your eligibility for care in a residential aged care facility.

Can I have someone with me during the ACAT assessment?

Yes – It’s a good idea to have someone you trust and who knows you well at the assessment home visit. You can have a friend, family member, partner, carer or advocate with you during the assessment. To find a local advocate, contact the National Aged Care Advocacy Line on 1800 700 600.

How can I prepare for my ACAT assessment?

During the assessment, you will be asked about what you can still do for yourself and what you want assistance with.  It helps if you have already thought about what your needs are, and about what you help you think you will want in the foreseeable future.

When should I agree to have an assessment of my needs? Having an assessment worries me!

Some older people are worried that having an assessment means a fast-track into a nursing home. The truth is that most people will be linked into community care services that help them stay living in their own home.

Many people get extra help at home. If you think you might benefit from some assistance, it’s a good idea to have an assessment. Over the phone, My Aged Care will help work out what type of assessment you need and will start the process for you. Once you’ve had an assessment, you make up your own mind about whether you want to accept the outcome. It’s your life and your choice.

What is My Aged Care?

My Aged Care is the government gateway for all aged care needs, including assessment and information on aged care support and programs across Australia. They should be your first point of contact.

Call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 or use their website www.myagedcare.gov.au

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