What is the Caps Scheme?
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:
- a permanent and severe loss of bladder and/or bowel function caused by an eligible neurological condition
- a 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 cardholder's dependent).
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 DVA 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
- their incontinence is confined to night time bed wetting (nocturnal enuresis)
- their incontinence results from a condition other than an eligible neurological condition and they do not have Centrelink Pensioner Concession Card entitlement.
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.
Complete an application form
To apply for CAPS you need to complete an application form available on the Australian Government's Department of Health website. You may need to provide extra documents with your application – this will be explained in the application form.
If your circumstances mean you cannot complete an application form a representative may complete it on your behalf. The CAPS application form and guidelines will provide further information on the criteria.
Get your registered health professional to complete the health report component
Your registered health professional will need to provide their details and information about your condition.
Submit your application
Applications can be submitted in either of the following ways:
Post your application to:
Department of Human Services
Continence Aids Payment Scheme
GPO Box 9822
Sydney NSW 2001
Fax your application to: 02 9895 3523
You can also lodge your application at a local Department of Human Services centre.
Wait for the result
If your application is approved a payment will be made to the bank account provided on your application form. If your application is rejected, you will be informed of this in writing and you can appeal the decision.
CAPS clients will receive a payment which is indexed annually. The current payment is $609.70 for the financial year 2019-2020.
Clients can choose one full payment in July, or two half payments in July and January each year.
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.
No. The CAPS payment is income tax exempt and will not be included in any Centerlink assessment as income.
Report a change in circumstances, to the CAPS Team on 1800 239 309, 8.30am to 5.00pm AEST, Monday to Friday. Only the person receiving the benefit, or their nominated representative, can phone the CAPS Team to change / update details.
Call the National Continence Helpline on 1800 33 00 66.
The National Continence Helpline is staffed by Nurse Continence Specialists who offer free and confidential information, advice and support. They also provide a wide range of continence-related resources and referrals to local services.