The Guides to Social Policy Law is a collection of publications designed to assist decision makers administering social policy law. The information contained in this publication is intended only as a guide to relevant legislation/policy. The information is accurate as at the date listed at the bottom of the page, but may be subject to change. To discuss individual circumstances please contact Services Australia. DCLAD (Child) ACL questionnaire scoring steps 19 & 20 - calculating the ACL adjusted grand total


The following table provides an overview of actions the delegate can take in certain circumstances if the carer does not achieve a qualifying score on the ACL questionnaire.

Step Action
1 Conduct further investigation into certain cases where the ACL questionnaire score is a 'near miss' and the professional questionnaire score is a qualifying score.

Conduct further investigation into certain cases, as required, to validate any identified anomalies.

Such circumstances include:

  • Paying 'extra' attention to conditions that do not seem to match scoring (e.g. diagnosed with eczema and asthma but qualifying based on scoring on major behaviour issues).
  • Paying extra attention if a carer submits multiple claims in a short period of time that have steeply escalated scoring (e.g. Care Needs Assessment (CNA) in April = 17, May = 22, June = 140).
  • Checking with the THP or carer about discrepancies in the scoring (e.g. THP = 0.1 and CNA = 300).

Additionally if the Secretary is not satisfied that the completed ACL questionnaire is an accurate reflection of the child's functional ability, behaviour and special care needs, the Secretary may either reject the claim or amend the answers for any of the questions. In doing so the Secretary may consult with either the carer and/or THP.

If after consultation with the carer and/or the THP, it is deemed a question has been missed or misinterpreted and the new answer/s would still be considered to be consistent with the THP report, the Secretary may amend the answer/s and vary the ACL score, for each question, up or down, in accordance with the amended answer/s.

The score for each question, as assessed by the Secretary, cannot exceed the total possible score for that question as set out in 'Scoring for ACL questionnaire'. Similarly, the score for each domain, as assessed by the Secretary, cannot exceed the total possible score for that domain. This applies to all questions and to all domains.

In determining whether the care load is reflected in the answers to the ACL questionnaire, the Secretary may seek further information from the carer. For example, the Secretary may suggest to the carer that they provide a school report for the child, or any other information that is relevant in determining the care load of the carer.

After the Secretary has considered and amended the answers and scores for all questions, the Secretary can calculate the ACL adjusted grand total by adding (or deducting) the extra points (resulting from the amendment of the answers) to the ACL grand total.

Determining the adjusted grand total (including any additional points that the delegate may add by adjusting the raw scores & recalculating the conversion tables)

ACL grand total = SUM of (Domain A care load score) + (Domain B care load score) + (Domain C care load score) + (Domain D care load score)

Act reference: SSAct section 38E Disability Care Load Assessment (Child) Determination

Policy reference: SS Guide 1.1.C.55 Carer Specialised Assessment Team (CSAT) (CP (child)), 1.1.D.170 Disability Care Load Assessment (Child) (CP (child), CA (child)), Referrals to the Carer Specialised Assessment Team (CSAT)

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