Healthdirect Free Australian health advice you can count on.

Medical problem? Call 1800 022 222. If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately

healthdirect Australia is a free service where you can talk to a nurse or doctor who can help you know what to do.

beginning of content

Assessment for respite

2-minute read

You may need an assessment to receive some types of respite care. Assessments are a way of working out how much help you need and the types of services you are eligible to receive. It’s all about what’s best for you and your situation.

For most types of respite care, you just contact an organisation in your local area that provides the relevant services, and talk to them about the help you need. They might conduct their own assessment of your situation so they can work out what’s best for you and the person you care for.

If you need any type of government-funded services or residential respite care (a short stay in an aged-care home), then you will need an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT, or ACAS in Victoria) assessment.

You first need to register with My Aged Care. To register, call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 with your Medicare card ready. You can also talk to your doctor who can refer you to an ACAT for a free assessment.

You and the person you care for will then need to meet with the ACAT person, who will usually be a doctor, nurse, social worker or other health care professional. The person from the ACAT will usually make an appointment to visit you and the person you care for at your home.

The assessment will mostly involve talking to the ACAT person about the type of help you need, and they can give you information about the services that may be available in your local area. They may also ask your permission to talk to the doctor who looks after the person being cared for.

Once the assessment is finished, you will receive a letter to let you know:

  • if you have been approved as eligible to receive government services
  • what type of services you are eligible for and approved to receive, and why

You can appeal the ACAT decision if you are not happy with your assessment outcome.

For more information, call your local Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre on 1800 052 222 for help to find respite care services that meet your needs.

Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.

Last reviewed: October 2018

Back To Top

Need more information?

These trusted information partners have more on this topic.

Healthdirect 24hr 7 days a week hotline

24 hour health advice you can count on

1800 022 222

Government Accredited with over 140 information partners

We are a government-funded service, providing quality, approved health information and advice

Australian Government, health department logo ACT Government logo New South Wales government, health department logo Northen Territory Government logo Government of South Australia, health department logo Tasmanian government logo Government of Western Australia, health department logo