ACAT Assessment for a Home Care Package
When you are considering what support is available to remain living at home, having an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) assessment is a good place to start. Your ACAT Assessment will determine if you are eligible to receive a Government subsidised Home Care Package.
What happens at an ACAT Assessment:
The ACAT assessor, normally a social worker, nurse, or other health care professional, will organise to meet with you at home, or if you are in hospital, they will visit you there. You may like to have a family member, friend, or carer with you during this assessment for support.
Before you meet, the ACAT assessor may ask for permission to speak with your doctor to discuss your medical history.
During the ACAT assessment, the assessor will:
- ask you questions about your day-to-day living activities and if you need help with all or some of them – they will also talk to you about your general state of health and specific health conditions; this will help them work out how much and what type of help you need
- give you information about all of the services that may be available in your local area
- ask you if you wish to apply for approval to receive certain aged care services – they will explain these service options to you and if you do want to apply, they will ask you to sign an application form.
After the ACAT Assessment:
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1. ACAT Assessment Outcome:
You will receive a letter detailing the outcome of the assessment.
For example, if during the assessment you agreed to apply for a Home Care Package, you would receive a letter stating that you have either been approved or denied a Home Care Package (Level 1, 2, 3, or 4 depending on your assessed level).
If you have been approved for a Home Care Package, you will then be placed on the National Priority Queue to await a package to be assigned to you.
Depending on the level of your need, MyAgedCare.gov.au states “We currently expect the maximum wait to be more than 12 months for most people because of the demand for home care packages.”
You can talk to an experienced Care Manager today on (08) 9385 5675,
about getting support while you wait for your Home Care Package to be assigned.
2. Research Providers:
While waiting to be assigned a Home Care Package, you can use this time to find out more about Home Care Package Providers in your area and to work out the costs associated with your care.
Costs that apply may include:
- Basic Daily Fee (charged by most providers)
- Income Tested Care Fee (if you earn over a certain amount – assessment completed by Department of Human Services)
- Additional fees for additional care or services not covered by your home care package
It is a good idea to have a look at the My Aged Care “Researching Home Care – Considerations and Checklist” when you are researching providers, so that you know what questions to ask to understand all of the costs involved, and what level of support each provider will be able to deliver.
Home Care Assistance, West Coast Perth does not charge the Basic Daily Fee and has No Administration or Case Management Fees. There is no charge for Care Plan Reviews and No Exit Fees. We don’t believe in hidden charges. This all means that you will be able to access 30-40% more care hours for the same Home Care Package with us than with most other providers.
3. Assignment of a Home Care Package:
You will receive another letter in the mail advising that you have been assigned a Home Care Package (Level 1, 2, 3, or 4).
In some cases, you may be assigned an Interim Home Care Package at a lower level than your approved Home Car Package level. This will allow you to access some care while you wait for the higher level package to become available.
Note: You will not be disadvantaged or wait longer if you take up this interim package – your position in the queue will remain the same whether you choose to take up the interim home care package or not.
Once you have been assigned a package you have 56 days to enter into a Home Care Agreement with your chosen Home Care Package Provider. If necessary, within this time, you can call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 to apply for a further extension of 28 days.
Home Care Agreement
A Home Care Agreement is a legal agreement between your Home Care Package Provider and yourself, which sets out what support will be provided, who will be providing these services and the costs involved.
The Home Care Package Provider must work with you to create a care plan that is suited to your individual needs and circumstances, and that sets out a budget showing the total funds available and how these funds will be used.
Your Home Care Package budget is made up of:
- Australian Government subsidy (and eligible supplements)
- the basic daily care fee (if your provider requires you to pay this)
- your maximum income tested care fee which you must pay based on your personal circumstances (assessment completed by Department of Human Services)
- any other amount you’ve agreed to pay for extra care or services, not covered in your package.
It is a good idea to have a look at My Aged Care’s “Entering into a Home Care Agreement – Considerations and Checklist” to ensure you understand all aspects of your Home Care Agreement.
Managing your Services
Once you have a Home Care Agreement in place, you can start receiving home care support services. Your Home Care Package will start from the day that you sign your agreement, not the day that you first receive services.
Changing care needs
Your provider must review your care plan periodically to ensure that the care and services being delivered still suit your needs. You can also request a review at any time if you feel that your needs have changed.
In the event that your Home Care Package is already fully allocated, and you still need further support, you may need to be assessed by an ACAT for a higher level of package.
Supplements for specific care needs
You may be eligible for additional supplements if you are assigned a Home Care Package and have specific care needs. You may need to be assessed for these:
- dementia and cognition supplement
- veterans’ supplement
- oxygen supplement
- enteral feeding supplement
- viability supplement
- hardship supplement
You are able to choose your Home Care Provider and can change if you find a new provider that fits your needs better. You should compare your current provider’s fees against the new provider, such as the administration fees, case management fees, fees charged for care plan reviews, whether they require you to pay the basic daily fee, if any exit fees apply, etc.
Find out the steps to change providers by clicking here
Note: You must enter into an agreement with your new provider within 56 days from the end date with your current provider. If you do not enter into a new Home Care Agreement within this time-frame, your package will be withdrawn and you will not be able to use your referral code.
Moving unspent funds
Any unspent funds that remain at the end of your agreement with your previous provider (less any outstanding fees and charges) will be transferred to your new provider. You will receive a statement showing this amount and any fees/charges that were deducted from this amount before transfer.
Your previous provider’s exit fees can only be deducted from unspent funds, and cannot be passed onto you as a debt if there are insufficient funds.
Rights and responsibilities
Visit the My Aged Care website MyAgedCare.gov.au to find out more about your & your Home Care Provider’s rights and responsibilities.
Most complaints can be resolved by speaking to your provider first. They will work with you to overcome any issues that you are experiencing. If they are unable to resolve the issue, or you do not feel comfortable speaking to them about it, find more information here about raising a complaint.