Who Is Eligible For Aged Care Services In Australia?

In response to its rapidly ageing population, Australia has set up a robust system of aged care services to help its elders live well into old age. People and families looking for help with elder care must be aware of the requirements to qualify for these programmes.

The unique requirements of Australia’s ageing population are addressed by a wide range of aged care services, which include both in-home care and residential facilities. In most jurisdictions, the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) or, in certain cases, the Aged Care Assessment Service (ACAS) administers assessments to determine eligibility.

This article explores the assessment process, income and asset concerns, and the many forms of care that are accessible to those who are considered eligible for aged care services. Whether you’re a senior looking into your healthcare alternatives or a family member trying to make sense of this maze, knowing what you need to qualify for the services you need is the first step.

Who Is Eligible For Aged Care Services In Australia?

The Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) or, in certain jurisdictions, the Aged Care Assessment Service (ACAS) conducts assessments to establish eligibility for aged care services in Australia. To establish the appropriate degree of care and assistance, the evaluation takes into account several criteria. The main factors that determine eligibility are as follows:

  • Aged Care Assessment: The first step in accessing aged care services is to undergo an assessment by ACAT or ACAS. This assessment evaluates an individual’s physical, medical, psychological, and social needs to determine the level of care required.
  • Age Requirement: Typically, individuals aged 65 and older are eligible for aged care services. In some cases, people under 65 may be eligible if they experience early-onset dementia or have other specific care needs.
  • Residency Status: To access government-subsidized aged care services, individuals must be Australian citizens, permanent residents, or have a special visa status.
  • Care Needs: Eligibility is often based on the level of care and support required. ACAT assesses whether the individual needs in-home care, transition care, residential aged care, or other specialized services.
  • Income and Assets Assessment: A means test is conducted to assess an individual’s financial situation. This includes an evaluation of income, assets, and property. The outcome of this assessment may influence the cost of care and the government subsidy provided.
  • Special Circumstances: Individuals with special circumstances, such as those with dementia or complex medical needs, may have specific eligibility criteria that cater to their unique requirements.

Please be advised that the qualifying criteria and assessment processes are subject to change. For the most current information, individuals and their families are recommended to contact the appropriate authorities or consult with professionals. To further assist citizens in making sense of and navigating Australia’s elderly care system, the government offers a variety of services and information.

How Do I Apply For Old Age Care In Australia?

Whether you are looking for residential aged care or in-home care, there are several stages to applying for aged care services in Australia. An overview of the application process is as follows:

Applying for aged care services in Australia involves several steps, and the process can vary based on whether you are seeking in-home care or residential aged care. Here’s a general guide on how to apply:

Applying For In-Home Aged Care

  • Contact My Aged Care: Begin by contacting My Aged Care, the Australian government’s portal for aged care services. 
  • Request an Assessment: My Aged Care will arrange for an assessment by the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) or Aged Care Assessment Service (ACAS) in some states. During this assessment, your care needs and eligibility for services will be evaluated.
  • Receive Assessment Outcome: After the assessment, you will receive a letter outlining the approved level of care and the types of services you may be eligible for.
  • Care Plan Development: Work with My Aged Care to develop a care plan that outlines the specific services you will receive and how they will be delivered.
  • Choose a Service Provider: With your approved care plan, you can choose a service provider to deliver the in-home care services. My Aged Care can assist you in finding available providers.
  • Commence Services: Once you’ve selected a service provider, your approved services will commence, and you’ll work with the provider to coordinate the delivery of care.

Applying For Residential Aged Care

  • Contact My Aged Care: Similar to in-home care, start by contacting My Aged Care through their website or by calling the contact centre.
  • Assessment for Residential Care: My Aged Care will arrange for an assessment by ACAT or ACAS to determine if residential aged care is the most suitable option for your needs.
  • Receive Approval and Referral: If approved for residential care, you’ll receive a letter indicating your approval and a referral code. Use this code when applying to residential aged care facilities.
  • Apply to Facilities: Research and apply to residential aged care facilities of your choice. Provide them with your referral code and relevant information.
  • Facility Assessment: Each facility will conduct its assessment to ensure it can meet your care needs.
  • Placement Offer: If a facility is available and can meet your needs, they will provide a placement offer. You can choose to accept or decline the offer.
  • Move-In: If you accept the placement offer, you’ll work with the facility to plan your move into residential aged care.

Keep in mind that there may be a waiting period and that it is critical to know your eligibility and your alternatives as you apply. Get in touch with My Aged Care for advice if you need more detailed information or have any questions.


The provision of aged care services in Australia is implemented following a predetermined process to cater to the diverse needs of the country’s growing elderly population.

Before beginning to investigate residential aged care choices or in-home care, the first thing that should be done is to get in touch with My Aged Care and make an appointment for an evaluation with either the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) or the Aged Care Assessment Service (ACAS).

Depending on the results of the evaluation, the level of care and services that are permitted to be provided will be established.

When people decide to receive care in the comfort of their own homes, they collaborate with My Aged Care to develop a bespoke care plan, after which they have the option of selecting the service providers who will carry out the plan.

Nevertheless, persons who are contemplating residential care for the elderly are required to go through a succession of steps, which include submitting applications to several establishments, undergoing evaluations, receiving placement offers, and ultimately relocating to the facility that was selected.

It is of the utmost importance to keep yourself informed about the conditions for qualifying, the services that are offered, and the possible waiting times that may occur during the application process. You can count on My Aged Care to be there for you at every turn, providing you with important advice and direction.

Because the number of people who are getting older continues to rise, it is more vital than ever before for families and individuals to understand and control these processes to ensure that their loved ones can continue to be healthy and happy as they get older.

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