After your assessment, your assessor will need some time to review your information and determine your eligibility. Once they make a decision, the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) who organised and conducted your assessment will send you a letter.
The letter will contain:
- the assessment team’s decision on whether you are eligible
- the services you are eligible to receive
- the reasons and evidence supporting the decision
- a copy of your support plan developed during your assessment
- referral codes for services if you discussed this referral method with your assessor.
If you don’t receive a letter explaining your assessment decision, contact your assessor and ask for a copy.
I'm eligible - what's next?
Once you receive your approval letter, the next step is to find a suitable aged care provider.
There are two ways to do this:
- Your assessor can make a referral for you
Your assessor will contact you to discuss what’s available in your area. With your consent, they will match you with a provider based on your preferred location and preferences.
- You can refer yourself
You can let your assessor know that you would like to search for providers yourself. If you choose this option, you will need the referral code in your approval letter. You can find local providers by using the Find a provider tool or by calling My Aged Care on 1800 200 422. See more information about referral codes below.
Read more about connecting with short-term restorative care providers.
What is a referral code and why do I need it?
Your assessor may arrange your referral with the residential respite provider or issue you with a referral code. A referral code is your unique reference number for receiving services. You give the referral code to your chosen provider. If you lose your code, you can log in to your My Aged Care Online Account to see it. With the code, a provider can view your client record, accept the referral, and start organising services for you.
How much time do I have to find a provider?
You will have six months starting from the day after the date of your approval letter to find a provider and start receiving services.
When will I start receiving my services?
It depends on vacancies in your local area. Some services aren’t always available straight away. If this happens, you might be placed on a waitlist.
If your preferred provider is unable to accept your referral immediately, there may be other providers who can. You should talk to your provider about your options. They have a responsibility to find you care if they accept your referral.
What if there are no short-term restorative care providers in my area?
Even though a provider may be based in a different area to where you live, they can travel to you to deliver care and services. You can talk to My Aged Care to find the services closest to you, then contact the providers to talk about your needs.
Do I have to accept the aged care provider, or the services offered?
No. Contacting or being referred to providers doesn’t mean you have to agree to their services. You can talk with them, ask questions, and make sure you’re comfortable first. Once you’re ready, you can agree to services with them, or if you prefer, a different provider. Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) assessors are encouraged to work closely with providers to support a smooth referral process and find successful matches.
Keep track of what you need to do
The My guide to aged care tool will help create a ‘next steps’ checklist tailored for you.
I’m not eligible - what now?
If you aren’t eligible for residential respite care, you will receive a letter from your assessor that will tell you why.
There are other options available.
You may be eligible for other government-funded aged care services. If you are, your letter will include a support plan outlining this information.
If you’re not eligible for other services, you may want to look at aged care providers that aren't government-funded.
If you are under 65 years old, you may want to explore your eligibility with the National Disability and Insurance Scheme (NDIS). You can do this through an NDIS Access Request. Call NDIS on 1800 800 110 (toll-free) for more information.
If you have any questions about the assessment process, including the assessment team’s decision, there are actions you can take:
Discuss your concerns with your assessor. This is usually the best way to resolve any issues. You can have a friend or relative help with this if you wish.
Request a review of the decision, free of charge. Information about how to do this will be included in your letter. You can also find out more information on the Contact us page.