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Care needs assessment

The care needs assessment helps us to see if you need long-term nursing home care.

When we receive your completed Fair Deal application form we will arrange for a care needs assessment. This assessment could be in a hospital or in your home.

What happens during the care needs assessment

A healthcare professional will do your assessment. This could be a geriatrician, public health nurse (PHN) or occupational therapist.

They will look at:

  • your ability to do everyday activities like bathing, shopping, dressing and moving around
  • your mental abilities - for example your levels of attention, memory, learning and language
  • any health and personal services you receive, such as a home care assistant or nurse
  • the family and community support available to you
  • your own wishes and preferences

The assessment may include a physical examination by a healthcare professional.

The person doing the assessment writes a report. We will use this report to decide if long-term nursing home care is the best option for you.


You may be asked for more information to complete the care needs assessment, such as a referral from your GP. It is important you provide this as soon as possible to complete your application.

We will write to you when a decision has been made on your care needs. You will also receive a copy of the report and the reasons for the decision.

If you do not qualify for long-term nursing home care

If you do not qualify for long-term nursing home care, you must wait 6 months before you can apply again.

If there is a change in your health or circumstances you can apply before the 6-month waiting period ends.

Contact us

We know the application process can be complicated.

If you need support or have a question that’s not answered here, contact us at:

Financial assessment: how much you pay towards care

Page last reviewed: 1 October 2022