There are a number of funding schemes available to assist Australian citizens cover some of the costs of managing their incontinence. There are both national and state schemes available.
Where eligible, some citizens will have access to funds from both a National and a State scheme.
Continence Aids Payment Scheme (CAPS)
The Continence Aids Payment Scheme (CAPS) is an Australian Government scheme that provides payment to assist eligible people who have permanent and severe incontinence to meet some of the cost of their incontinence products.
The 2022-23 payment rate for CAPS is up to $650.40 per person and will be paid directly to clients' accounts This means you can purchase products from a range of continence product from various suppliers such as local pharmacies and retail outlets.
How do I apply for CAPS?
To apply for CAPS you need to complete an application form found at http://www.bladderbowel.gov.au/caps/
It must include a health report completed by a health professional, such as a continence nurse, general practitioner, medical specialist, community nurse, physiotherapist, occupational therapist or an Aboriginal health worker.
The completed application form must then be lodged with Medicare Australia for processing.
What products can be purchased under the CAPS?
CAPS clients will be able to purchase any continence products appropriate for their needs including the HARTMANN products.
Where do I get more information and a CAPS application form?
The Bladder & Bowel
The National Continence Helpline
1800 330 066
If you are a Gold or White Card holder (with assessed need due to an accepted disability), you can access aids or appliances to help you maintain independence in your home through the Rehabilitation Appliances Program (RAP).
Aids or appliances prescribed through the programme can include continence products as well as other aids and appliances.
How to obtain an assessment for RAP aids
RAP appliances are available based on an assessed clinical need made by an appropriately qualified health provider such as a:
- general practitioner
- occupational therapist
- speech pathologist (speech therapist)
Your local Medical Officer (GP) can provide the necessary referral to an appropriate allied health professional who can assess your need for RAP aids and appliances. Your GP can also offer advice and make requests in writing to DVA.
Your Local Medical Officer (GP) or a Continence Adviser can provide you with an assessment and prescription for continence products.
Prescriptions are renewed every 2 years to assess if different products are needed based on any change to your condition.
Ongoing supply of appropriate continence products can be arranged through one of DVA’s contracted suppliers:
- Independence Australia - Phone: 1300 788 855
- Intouch - Phone: 1800 382 727
- BrightSky Australia - Phone: 1300 968 062
Your Continence Supplier will advise you well in advance of the need for a new prescription. DVA recommends that you seek re supply when you have approximately 1 month of continence products remaining.
For further information about the DVA RAP programme and continence supply please call 133 254 (metro) or 1800 555 254 (country)
or visit http://www.dva.gov.au/health-and-wellbeing/home-and-care/rehabilitation-appliances-program-rap
The Continence Foundation Helpline is a toll free assistance line that can offer support and can be contacted on 1800 330 066.
New South Wales
EnableNSW provides equipment and services to people in NSW with chronic health conditions or disability to assist them with mobility, communication and self-care.
The following criteria apply to all applications for Enable NSW services:
- the person is a permanent resident of NSW, or a refugee residing in NSW;
- the person has a permanent or long-term disability (i.e. a disability likely to last more than 12 months regardless of the cause of the disability);
- the person has long-term assistive technology needs that have stabilised and allow them to remain in a community setting;
- the person has not received compensation or damages in respect of the disability for which the assistive technology device or support is required;
- and the person is not eligible to receive the assistive technology under any other government-funded program.
As a service directed to people who are financially disadvantaged, access to EnableNSW is means tested for adults for most categories of assistive technology. Children up to the age of 16 years with a long-term disability are eligible for EnableNSW, regardless of parental income.
For more information on ENABLE visit the EnableNSW website: http://www.enable.health.nsw.gov.au/
The Medical Aids Subsidy Scheme (MASS) provides funding for medical aids and equipment to eligible Queensland residents who have a permanent and stabilised condition or a disability. The scheme helps people to live at home and avoid early or inappropriate residential care or hospitalisation.
In general, clients may be eligible for assistance under MASS if they:
- are a permanent resident of Queensland
- have a permanent/stable condition or disability
- hold a pensioner concession card, health care card or Queensland Government Senior Card
- meet specific clinical eligibility criteria relevant to the aid.
Clients may receive assistance from MASS even where assistance is granted under CAPS or the Commonwealth Rehabilitation Scheme, as these programs emphasise workplace assistance. MASS is not intended to meet total continence needs and clients are limited by the quantity available for each type of aid. There are limits to the level of subsidy for particular categories (e.g. the client’s age) and aids. There is no client co-payment required. All clients must be clinically assessed.
For more information on MASS visit the Queensland Health website: https://www.health.qld.gov.au/mass
CMAS (Continence Management Advice Service) is a statewide established service funded by the West Australian Government. The services provide access to a CMAS trained nurse and depending upon eligibility, access to free pads or products up to the value of $490 per year and delivered to your home.
The following eligibility criteria apply:
- aged 16 years and over;
- are financially disadvantaged;
- have an ongoing continence condition; and
- are a permanent resident of WA
For more information on CMAS visit the Continence Management and Advice Service website: https://www.silverchain.org.au/wa/health-care/continence-management/