Home support assessment with a RAS

Home support assessments are provided by a local assessor from a Regional Assessment Service or RAS. If you have been referred for a home support assessment, a member of a RAS will contact you. They will arrange a time to visit you at home and talk to you about your current situation.

Let the assessor know if you have any communication difficulties so they can arrange any special assistance you need for your assessment.

The assessor will ask you a few questions to ensure your and their safety when they visit.

The RAS assessor can approve you as eligible for entry level services under the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) to help you be independent in your home and actively participate in your community.

Preparing for an assessment

It’s useful to have the following ready for when the assessment takes place:

  • your Medicare number
  • a copy of any referrals from your doctor
  • any information you already have about aged care services that you may want to discuss with the assessor
  • your GP or other health professional contact details
  • information on any support you receive already.

You can ask a family member, carer or friend to be with you during the assessment.

Read more about your rights during an assessment.

What happens during a home support assessment?

When the assessor arrives at your home, they will ask if you agree to have the assessment.

The assessor will have a copy of your client record which includes the information you gave to the My Aged Care contact centre. They may also ask for your permission to talk to people who support you, such as a family member or carer.

The assessor will work out what services can help you to return to or keep the level of independence needed to manage your day to day life.

The assessor will ask questions about:

  • what support you already have and if that will continue
  • your health and lifestyle and any health concerns
  • if you have problems with your memory
  • how you are going with daily tasks and activities around the home
  • any issues with home and personal safety
  • speaking to your GP or other health professionals.

Questions to ask the assessor

You may like to ask the assessor about:

  • what services are available to help you reach your goals
  • service providers who offer the care you need in your area
  • what supports there are for your carer
  • service providers that speak your language or represent your religious or cultural beliefs
  • how you can contact the assessor if you have any questions after the assessment.

Developing a support plan

The assessor will help you develop a support plan that records what you discussed and agreed during the assessment such as:

  • your strengths
  • your difficulties
  • your goals
  • what you would like to achieve
  • what preferences you have for your services.

Your support plan will set out the types of services that will best help you and if the services are ongoing or short term. In some cases where you have an injury or need support to get better, you can receive short term services to help you recover.

This support may be available from service providers, or may be support that’s already available to access in your community. It may also be things you can do yourself to meet your goals.

Referring you for service

If your home support assessment shows you are eligible for services under the Commonwealth Home Support Programme, the assessor will talk to you about the different ways that referrals can be made. They can give you options for services in your area so that you can choose the right care for you. They may also discuss other services that may help you meet your goals.

The assessor can make a referral to a service provider on your behalf, including to a particular service provider of your choice.

If you want to talk to service providers in your area, the assessor can give you the referral code.

If you decide to take the referral code to a service provider of your choice, you can get help to find providers in your area. Call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 or use the help at home service finder.

Sometimes, if the assessor finds that your needs cannot be met by the Commonwealth Home Support Programme, they will organise for you to have a comprehensive assessment. The support plan will be given to the assessor doing the assessment so you don’t have to repeat what you discussed and agreed in your home support assessment.

Concerns about the assessment process

If you have concerns about your assessment, you should talk to your RAS assessor or their organisation in the first instance. They may be able to help.

If you do not know the organisation’s details, you can call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 to find out.

RAS organisations have complaints procedures in place to work with you to address your concerns.

If you cannot first resolve the issue with your RAS assessor or their organisation, you can call My Aged Care.

Read more about making a complaint.

Support to help you

You are able to have someone with you during an assessment or to help you raise your concerns. This can be a family member or trusted friend.

The Older Persons Advocacy Network can also help raise your concerns or give information about your rights.

Advocates are available to all Australians seeking or receiving aged care services. This is a free service. Call the National Aged Care Advocacy Line on 1800 700 600 (freecall) or visit the Older Persons Advocacy Network website.

Read more about advocacy services to help you.

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If you are going to be, or have been, assessed for home support services, read more about costs in help at home: costs explained.

Last reviewed: 15 May, 2018.