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Rehabilitation Appliances Program (RAP)

DVA's rehabilitation appliance services are being reviewed

DVA is conducting a comprehensive review of its rehabilitation appliance services, including aids and appliances provided under the Rehabilitation Appliances Program (RAP) and those provided under rehabilitation plans. The review aims to ensure these services continue to be appropriate, effective and efficient in meeting the veteran community's needs.

Rehabilitation appliances assist veterans, war widows, widowers and dependants to minimise the impact of disabilities and enhance quality of life.

The review is consulting with the veteran community, ex-service organisations, health professionals and stakeholders across government.

It is focused on rehabilitation appliances and will not be looking at other services such as medical treatment, compensation, pensions or home care. Hearing aids and services provided under the Australian Government Hearing Services Program (administered by the Department of Health) are also not in scope. However, assistive listening devices, which are designed to help the user hear better in a specific situation (such as headsets for watching television, or personal amplifiers) are provided under DVA's RAP and so are a part of the review.

Further details are provided in the Review's terms of reference:

DVA has sought input into the review from the veteran community via an online survey, emails, interviews and discussion at consultative forums. The consultation period has now closed. Recommendations resulting from the review are expected to be finalised towards the end of 2018.

Eligibility

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 RAP.

Aids or appliances prescribed through the program can include:

  • continence products
  • mobility and functional support aids
  • Personal Response Systems
  • Home medical oxygen
  • diabetic supplies
  • Continuous Positive Airways Pressure (CPAP) supplies

See also: Factsheet — HSV107 — Rehabilitation Appliances Program

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
  • physiotherapist
  • 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 by using Form — D0904 — DVA Request/Referral (PDF 135 KB).

Continence products

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:

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 program 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.

Home modifications

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, Transport, Homes and Appliances, 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 PTS, anxiety and depression. However, studies are underway, including a DVA trial of assistance dogs for posttraumatic stress disorder announced in May 2018.

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 — for example, 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.

Further information

Feedback channels

Aged Care

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.

DVA

If you have feedback or concerns about DVA programs or services, visit DVA complaints, compliments and feedback for more information.

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