Incontinence can lead to social isolation and depression and the cost associated with incontinence is enormous. Incontinence products can be very expensive and there are other costs such as the washing of linen. Many people are eligible for Government assistance to obtain their incontinence products yet many people are unaware of some of the help and funding assistance they are able to access.
This page provides an introduction to the major funding schemes in Australia that may be able to offer you financial assistance to purchase the incontinence products you need. With most schemes there is a need to list the appropriate incontinence aids you require; this usually needs to be completed as part of the assessment process.
If you are currently receiving benefits in a community based assistance program and you need incontinence support but are not receiving the required funding as part of your package you should contact your care support worker and request an upgraded assessment to include incontinence support funding.
In this article we discuss the following schemes (click the name to jump to that scheme):
The Continence Aids Payment Scheme for permanent and severe incontinence
Support funding for elderly Australians
The National Disability Insurance Scheme provides assitance funding for people with disability
The Department of Veteran's Affairs provides support to members of the veterans community
Australian States and Territories offer a number of local funding schemes
The Continence Aids Payment Scheme is an Australian Government scheme which provides some funds for the purchase of incontinence products
The CAPS funding is a fixed amount of annual funding. There are no additional funds available when all the CAPS funds are used in the year. The yearly amount usually increases a little each year as dictated by the CPI (Consumer Price Index) and this is decided at the end of each financial year.
General eligibility criteria:
- you must be over 5 years of age, and
- you must have permanent and severe incontinence
You are automatically eligible if:
- you have an incontinence problem which is directly related to a neurological condition, or
- you have an acceptable incontinence issue and are in receipt of a Government pension
Application is obtained through the bladderbowel website at www.bladderbowel.gov.au/caps. The medical section (Section 3) needs to be completed by a qualified health professional (e.g. doctor, nurse, occupational therapist, physiotherapist, Aboriginal Health worker). The completed form is then submitted to Medicare.
Further information: www.bladderbowel.gov.au/caps
My Aged Care
My Aged Care is an Australian Government scheme aimed at supporting people in their home and daily life through the Home Care Packages Program
My Aged Care is designed to assist people to live independently in their own home. This scheme aims to work with a recipient who can choose their care and services which best meet their needs and goals.
There are 4 levels of home care packages designed to meet the different levels of care needs.
Eligibility is dependent on an aged care assessment conducted by an assessor who:
- discusses the person’s care needs and then
- determines the level of care needed.
After the assessment is completed the Government then pays a subsidy amount for the level of the home care package to the person’s chosen home care provider. Incontinence aids can be included within the care package but the need should be discussed during the assessment process and with the home care provider. To access this scheme the person, their care provider or their family need to contact the My Aged Care by phoning 1800 200 422 or www.myagedcare.gov.au
The National Disability Insurance Scheme is an Australian national scheme providing funding of support for people with disabilities
General eligibility criteria:
- people with a permanent disability that significantly affects their ability to take part in everyday activities, or
- people with a developmental delay
- Must be less than 65 years old when first accessing the scheme
- Must be an Australian citizen and live in Australia where the NDIS is available
People accessing the scheme who have an incontinence issue can request assistance for their incontinence needs.
To access the NDIS the person or their support person should contact NDIS by phoning the NDIA on 1800 800 110
Further information: www.ndis.gov.au/people-disability
ConfidenceClub is a registered provider of incontinence products on the NDIS scheme. If you have an NDIS package that includes continence supports then we are able to supply you directly and process the payment on your behalf with the NDIS scheme.. If your NDIS package is managed by a third-party (a "plan manager") then you can order from us and we can invoice them directly.
The Department of Veteran's Affairs provides continence assistance to eligible members of the veteran community
The aim of this scheme is to encourage members of the Veterans community to be independent and self-reliant in their own home. Through a health care assessment the provision of aids and appliances is designed to help to minimise the impact of disabilities, enhance quality of life and maximise independence. DVA provides equipment and consummables according to each persons assessed clinical need as part of the overall management of their health care.
General eligibility criteria:
- You have a Gold Card, White Card (only for conditions accepted by DVA as related to service), or
- You are a veteran from an allied country (only for conditions accepted by DVA as related to service)
To access this scheme the eligible person should discuss their needs with their doctor or a qualified health care professional.
Further information: www.dva.gov.au
State Government Schemes
There are a number of State and Territory Government funding schemes that are available to support people in their homes with continence aids
The State and Territory Government schemes include:
- Enable in NSW
- Statewide Equipment Program (SWEP) in Victoria
- Medical Aids Subsidy Scheme (MASS) in Queensland
- Continence Management and Support Scheme (CMASS) in Western Australia
- Department for Communities and Social Inclusion (DCSI) in South Australia
- Disability Equipment Program (DEP) in the Northern Territory
- The ACT Equipment Scheme in the Australian Capital Territory, and
- Community Equipment Scheme (CES) in Tasmania.
Assistance through these schemes varies and is supported by the local State and Territories Governments.
People wishing to access these schemes should contact their local community health centre, community nurse or their local doctor.
Further information: The Continence Foundation