What is an ACAT Assessment?

November 29, 2020

Managing the changing requirements for an aging family member can be overwhelming, but it’s important to know where to get started, in order for them to receive help as soon as possible. The very first step you need to take is organising an ACAT or ACAS assessment.

What is the difference between an ACAT and ACAS assessment?

These are essentially the same test however it is known as an ACAS assessment in Victoria and in other states, it is an ACAT. ACAS stands for Aged Care Assessment Service and ACAT refers to an Aged Care Assessment Team or team member who conducts the assessment for you.

How to know when your family member needs to be assessed?

There is no specific time, it is usually when there is a noticed decline in health, home hygiene, mental health or ongoing issues related to specific conditions. Help might start with preparing food, reminders for taking medication, or it could be with assistance with shopping or personal care. The most important thing is to get the process started early, there can be long wait times to access care so the sooner you enquire the better.  

Whether the concern is from a family member, close friend, health professional or the person themselves, the first step is contacting the customer service centre of My Aged Care on 1800 200 422. They will then organise a time and day to provide the assessment. When this is arranged, we highly recommend the person being assessed has a support person with them to help with the paperwork and assist with any follow-up appointments that may be arranged after the initial assessment. 

What is involved in an ACAT?

An ACAT assessment is a detailed assessment completed by one or more qualified medical and allied health professionals. They arrange a time to come to the individual’s home to assess a range of different areas including

  • The person’s medical history
  • Living arrangements and support
  • The type of help required, including personal needs and assistance
  • The options available for aged care or in-home services in your local area

The assessment can take between one to two hours. 


What happens after the ACAT assessment?

Once the assessment has been completed you will receive a letter describing the assessment results, the eligibility for services and a referral code. Based on your eligibility, you can then choose a service provider yourself and you will need to provide them with the referral code. 

What happens if I’m unhappy with the assessment outcome?

If you’re unhappy with the assessment results, you do have the option of accepting or rejecting the recommendations. However, it is advisable to first discuss the outcome with the assessors involved to try and resolve the concerns. If they cannot be resolved you can ask for an appeal.  

If you’re just starting out and are new to the My Aged Care process, read our handy guide and download our checklist to help you feel prepared and confident

If you have any questions relating to the My Aged Care process or just need help or advice don’t hesitate to contact our team of experts today on 1300 20 90 20.


Helping you get the right care

Our help is absolutely free and we will guide you through everything you need to know about accessing government-funded home care. Call us on 1300 20 90 20.

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