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
- mobility and functional support aids
- Personal Response Systems
- Home medical oxygen
- diabetic supplies
- Continuous Positive Airways Pressure (CPAP) supplies.
How to obtain an assessment for RAP aids or appliances
RAP appliances are available on the basis of 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).
The Continence Foundation Helpline is a toll free assistance line that can offer support and can be contacted on 1800 330 066.
In certain instances, DVA will fund home modifications for Gold or White Card holders (with assessed need due to an accepted disability) based upon their clinical need as assessed and prescribed by an appropriate health professional.
Service (Assistance) Dogs
Guide dogs are the only type of service dog included on the Rehabilitation Appliance Program (RAP) National Schedule of Equipment and are considered for veterans who are vision impaired. The provision of a guide dog under RAP is based on assessed clinical need due to a war-caused injury/accepted disability. Funding includes: the dog, harness, training, freight, and accommodation during training.
Hearing and mobility service dogs are not listed on the RAP Schedule as an aid for veterans. Requests to DVA for the supply of aids (such as service dogs) and appliances that do not appear on the Schedule must be referred in writing to the Director, Health Access, for consideration.
To be eligible for the provision of a service dog the veteran must hold a DVA Health Card—For All Conditions (Gold Card) or a DVA Health Card—For Specific Conditions (White Card) and have an assessed clinical need due to a war-caused injury/accepted disability. In the case of a request for a service dog, the request would be considered as specific to aid persons with mobility impairment.
DVA uses an evidence-based approach to the treatment and management of mental and physical health conditions, which ensures that veterans are able to access the most appropriate treatment and rehabilitation support for their needs. There is clear research based evidence that service dogs are an effective aid to assist people with mobility and sensory impairments.
There is currently no research-based evidence about the effectiveness of service dogs in assisting with the management of symptoms of mental health conditions, including PTSD, anxiety and depression. DVA is aware of studies currently occurring overseas including a study into the advisability of using service dogs for the treatment or rehabilitation of veterans with mental health conditions that are related to their service, being conducted by the US Department of Veterans’ Affairs. Until sound evidence exists, DVA will not consider funding the purchase, training, transport provision or upkeep of service or support/companion dogs to assist with the management of symptoms of mental health conditions.
RAP assistance for veterans in aged care
Residential Aged Care Facilities (RACF) may be required to provide you with rehabilitation aids or equipment to meet your needs, depending on the level of care you are receiving, including:
- bedding/mattresses/suitable and appropriate pressure relieving mattresses
- equipment to aid mobility e.g. wheelchairs and walking frames
- seating / arm chairs
- shower chairs
- oxygen therapy and equipment.
DVA may supply you with certain items which are required to be customised such as medical grade footwear. These items will need to be prescribed by a suitably qualified health professional.
If you are entering aged or supported care and already have DVA supplied RAP equipment, you may be able to take it with you. However it is important to discuss this with facility management before you enter.
For further information about DVA’s RAP program please call 133 254 (metro) or 1800 555 254 (country).
Continence Foundation Helpline - 1800 330 066 - a toll free assistance line for support
My Aged Care website and phone line 1800 200 422 - has clear and reliable information on aged care services.
The Aged Care Complaints Scheme is a free service that examines complaints or concerns about Commonwealth-funded aged care services, including:
- Residential Aged Care
- Commonwealth funded Home and Community Care Services (excluding Western Australia and Victoria); or
- Home Care Packages.
If you have a concern about the care you or someone else is receiving, complaints can be lodged online. Alternatively, you can contact the Aged Care Complaints Scheme on 1800 550 552.
If you have feedback or concerns about DVA Programmes or services, please visit the DVA complaints, compliments and feedback page for more information.