Home Care Package: How to prepare for an ACAT assessment

An older woman looking at a document.

An Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) assessment is a vital step to receiving the right home care and support. Properly preparing yourself for this assessment will ensure you can communicate your needs to your assessor and begin receiving support in the form of a Home Care Package, residential care or respite care.

What is an ACAT assessment?

An ACAT assessment (some refer to this as a ‘home care assessment’) is a comprehensive assessment usually carried out by a nurse, social worker or other health care professional from your local area.

The purpose of an ACAT assessment is to determine your eligibility to begin receiving a range of types of care. This can include support via a Home Care Package or flexible care such as residential respite care, short-term restorative care or transition care, which can be provided at home or in a residential aged care facility. Assessors will ask wide-ranging questions about your current lifestyle, wellbeing, community participation, your health and living goals and may even request to see relevant medical documents.

Who does an ACAT assessment?

ACAT assessments are undertaken by registered quality assessors employed by the Commission. To arrange an ACAT assessment, you need to contact the customer service centre of My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 or fill out the online form.

To apply for the online ACAT assessment, there are three parts:

  • Checking you are eligible
  • Capturing your details
  • Confirming who the assessor should call to arrange the assessment.

You will need your Medicare card and enough time to complete it. Your social worker, doctor, or other health professionals can organise this for you on your behalf. They, or any person with a legitimate interest in your health, can make a referral for you.

How to prepare for your ACAT assessment?

According to MyAgedCare, there are a couple things you may have to bring with you during your ACAT assessment, including:

  • Your Medicare number
  • Copies of any referrals from your GP
  • Contact details of your GP or health professional
  • Information about any current support you receive.

Once you have registered to be assessed via MyAgedCare, it may take up to 12 weeks to receive the date of your ACAT assessment. The assessment will most likely take place in your own home, meaning you can have a family member or friend by your side throughout the assessment. Your assessor may need to also speak to these people to get a better understanding of your existing support.

During your assessment, make sure you voice any questions you might have, such as what services might suit you, what support your carer or support worker has access to, which service providers can represent you culturally or religiously and how you can contact the assessor for any further questions.

What happens at the ACAT assessment?

The assessor will confirm you agree to have the assessment and may ask for your permission to talk to people who are supporting you on your aged care journey, such as family, or your carer. Following this, there may be forms you need to fill (if you’re undergoing a comprehensive assessment), you will have a conversation with the assessor about your support needs and finally, they will work with you to develop your support plan. The support plan includes information about your strengths, areas where you need support, level of care you need, goals you want to achieve, etc.

Check your rights

An ACAT assessment may seem overwhelming and invasive as you discuss your ongoing personal needs. It’s important to remember that throughout your assessment, you have the right to:

  • Be treated with respect and dignity
  • Be notified of assessment process and what is happening and why
  • Discuss your concerns, ideas and views
  • Have your information be treated in confidence
  • Have an interpreter, relative, friend or carer with you during the assessment
  • To speak to be an independent advocate who can provide advice or talk on behalf of you.

Once your assessment is complete, your assessor will make a formal decision about your needs and notify you of your eligibility to receive a Home Care Package, residential care or other services you might need.

If you become approved for a Home Care Package following your ACAT assessment, you’ll most likely go on a national waitlist, meaning you won’t immediately receive your funding. Luckily, in the meantime, you can sign up on Mable and book independent support workers on the platform to pay privately home care services. While you’re on the waiting list, you can also search for and choose a Home Care Package provider.

Once you’ve received your allotted home care package funding, you can use the funding to start self-managing your Home Care Package to build your team of support workers on Mable.

By booking and managing support through Mable:

  • You have choice and control over who supports you, when and where they support you, and how much you pay for the support
  • You’re safeguarded by Mable’s verification and the high-level suite of insurances arranged by Mable on behalf of support workers.

If you’re waiting for your ACAT assessment and need support in the meantime, sign up on Mable and start connecting with independent support workers today.


Yes, you can log on to your MyAgedCare account to track your application. If your application is successful, an assessor will contact you to arrange an assessment.

Even if you’re not eligible, you can still connect with Independent Support Workers through Mable and pay privately for support services.

If significant time has passed since you were last deemed ineligible for an ACAT assessment, your needs may have changed. You can ask for a reassessment by calling MyAgedCare on 1800 200 422.

If you don’t want to participate in an ACAT assessment, you can choose an aged care provider that isn’t government funded. Note that you will have to pay the full cost of your care.

It’s possible that since the last time you were assessed, your circumstances have changed. Perhaps the tasks that you could do then have become more difficult or unmanageable for you. If you’re already receiving subsidised aged care services, but need to be reassessed:

  1. Speak to your current provider to review your care plan
  2. Your service provider will contact your MyAgedCare assessor.