Video: Continence nurse advisor Stephen Marburg talks about funding schemes available to assist continence products.
Most people with incontinence use continence products such as pads, catheters or bedding protection to manage their condition. Some people require these products on a long term basis, which can become very expensive, and put unreasonable pressure on the household budget.
A continence clinic or the National Continence Helpline (1800 33 00 66) can provide you with contact details for suppliers of continence products. They can also provide you with information about eligibility for funding schemes, which may assist with the ongoing costs of purchasing and replacing continence products.
Note: An assessment by a continence nurse advisor is recommended to ensure that you or the person you are caring for uses the most appropriate continence product, including the correct fit and application of the product.
There are various funding schemes available for continence products funded by the Australian Government. These schemes have differing eligibility criteria and funding allocations, and it is important to note that the person you care for may be eligible to apply for government funding through several schemes. Australian Government funding schemes are open to all Australian citizens who meet the eligibility criteria, regardless of which state of Australia they live in.
The Continence Aids Payment Scheme (CAPS) is available to people aged five years and over, with permanent and severe incontinence due to:
To apply, a CAPS application form must be completed, which includes a Health Report from the medical practitioner or continence nurse about the condition.
People are NOT eligible for CAPS if:
Further information on CAPS and eligibility criteria is also available from the Australian Government's Department of Health website.
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), managed by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), was launched in July 2013 and is being trialed in select areas in all states except Queensland. The full scheme will be gradually rolled out across Australia from July 2016. The NDIS supports people with a permanent disability that prevents them from taking part in everyday activities.
To check if you live in one of the trial sites and are eligible for NDIS, go to ndis.gov.au. If you are eligible and you require assistance with continence products, this will be considered in your planning discussion with the NDIA, and if approved, will replace CAPS payments. If you are not eligible for NDIS, your current level of support will continue.
For further information, go to the NDIS website or phone the NDIS Helpline on 1800 800 110
The Commonwealth Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) provides a range of incontinence products to eligible veterans and war widows via the Rehabilitation Appliances Program (RAP). If the person you are caring for is an entitled veteran or war widow, they can access support if they:
Gold and White Card holders are not eligible if they are residents receiving level 3 or 4 packages.
A form requesting the incontinence products is filled out by the assessing doctor or health professional. It is then sent to an authorised product supplier on behalf of the client.
For all enquiries relating to the Rehabilitation Appliances Program please call the National Continence Contract Team at the Department of Veterans’ Affairs on 133 254 or 1800 555 254.
There are also a range of state/territory government funding schemes available. For more information please contact the National Continence Helpline on 1800 33 00 66.
If you or the person you care for require an interpreter, call 13 14 50 and ask to be connected to 1800 33 00 66. Telephone interpreter services are provided free of charge.
Click here to download a factsheet about Australian and state/territory government funding schemes