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Continence Aids Payment Scheme

Note: the CAPS forms have recently been updated. Find out more information on the Australian Government's Bladder and Bowel website.  

The Continence Aids Payment Scheme (CAPS) is an Australian Government scheme that provides a payment to assist eligible people who have permanent and severe incontinence to meet some of the cost of their continence products.

Who can apply for the scheme?

A person is eligible for CAPS if they are five years of age or older and have one of the following:

  • permanent and severe loss of bladder and/or bowel function caused by an eligible neurological condition;
  • permanent and severe loss of bladder and/or bowel function caused by another condition, provided the person has a Centrelink Pensioner Concession Card, whether as a primary cardholder or a dependent of a cardholder;
  • permanent and severe loss of bladder and/or bowel function caused by another condition, provided the person has a Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) Pensioner Concession Card, whether as a primary cardholder or a dependent of a cardholder.

A person is not eligible for CAPS if:

  • they are not an Australian citizen or a permanent Australian resident.
  • they are a high-care resident in an Australian Government funded aged care home.
  • they receive an Australian Government funded home care package and their care plan includes continence aids.
  • they are a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) recipient and their NDIS plan contains a statement that reasonable and necessary supports (that include continence aids) will be funded under the NDIS.
  • they are eligible for assistance with continence products under the Rehabilitation Appliances Program (RAP).
  • their incontinence is transient (not permanent); can be treated conservatively (e.g. pelvic floor muscle exercises), with medication or with surgery; or is confined to night time bed wetting (enuresis).
  • their incontinence results from a condition other than an eligible neurological condition AND they do not have Centrelink Pensioner Concession Card entitlement.

What about state / territory schemes?

If a person is eligible for the CAPS, and is currently receiving assistance with continence (or continence related) products through a state or territory government funded scheme, they should contact their scheme manager to find out if the assistance will be affected by their eligibility for the CAPS.

How do I apply?

Applicants need to complete a CAPS application form, which includes a Health Report. A health professional must complete the Health Report component and the completed application must be returned to Medicare Australia.

Medicare Australia will process the application, and if the applicant is determined eligible, make the payment to their nominated bank account.  If the application is incomplete or information is not valid, Medicare Australia will contact the applicant for further information.

If clients are unable to complete an application form in certain circumstances, a representative may complete it on their behalf (see the CAPS application form and guidelines for required criteria).

If you would like a CAPS application form, contact:

  • Medicare Australia on 13 20 11 and select option 6
  • National Continence Helpline on 1800 33 00 66

You can also request the CAPS application form from the Australian Government's Bladder Bowel website.

How much is the payment and how often will it be made?

CAPS clients will receive up to $558.90, which will be indexed annually. Applicants can choose one full payment in July, or two half payments in July and January each year.

Can I authorise my payment to a representative or organisation?

Yes. A payment can be made directly into a representative's bank account (details of the relationship are required) or to a nominated organisation, which will assist the person to purchase their products.

Will the CAPS payment affect my income?

No. The CAPS payment is income tax exempt and will not be included in any Centerlink assessment as income.

For further information 

For CAPS application and payment inquiries, contact:
Medicare Australia on 13 20 11 and select option 6.
Medicare Australia can also assist with completing the CAPS application form or answer questions about CAPS payments.

For further information about the CAPS schemes, go to the Australian Government's bladder bowel website.

For information about bladder and bowel control problems, continence product advice, local continence services and eligibility for funding schemes, phone the National Continence Helpline on 1800 33 00 66.