Skip to Content

Rehabilitation Appliances Program (RAP)

New items available through the Rehabilitation Appliances Program

In 2018, DVA held a comprehensive review of its rehabilitation appliance services, which included a review of the aids and appliances available through the Rehabilitation Appliance Program (RAP).

The review consulted with the veteran community, ex-service organisations, health provider associations and stakeholders across government. DVA also worked with expert health and medical advisers and consulted with contracted RAP suppliers. Past client feedback and patterns in requests for clinically required aids and appliances were also considered.

As a result of these review activities, DVA has made a number of improvements to the RAP to expand the items available to eligible clients:

  • eligibility for electric mobility aids (electric scooters, electric wheelchairs and power assist devices) has been extended to include all veterans who hold a DVA Gold Card and have a medically assessed need for the item (veterans with a DVA White Card must have a medically assessed need for the item arising from their war-caused or service-related injury or disease or condition covered for under the Treatment Principles)
  • rails and ramps can now be installed to more than one access point of a home, facilitating access to other areas such as gardens and sheds
  • a number of new items are now available on the RAP National Schedule of Equipment:
    • dignity clothing such as clothing protectors and rear-fastening garments
    • carer-operated wheelchair power packs
    • mobile personal emergency response systems
    • ergonomic chairs
    • holders for electronic readers
    • jaw motion rehabilitation systems
  • the Cefaly transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) device has been added to existing supplier contracts
  • thickened fluids, which were previously only supplied under the Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, are now supplied under RAP, to make them available to clients more efficiently
  • as a safety measure to reduce the risk of falls caused by retractable garden hoses, supplier contracts have been amended to include only hoses with a controlled speed retraction mechanism — anyone who has received one of the old hoses can be re-assessed and prescribed with a new speed-controlled hose, if clinically appropriate, and
  • a new RAP National Guideline has been issued to assist with prescribing assistive listening devices.

These changes were implemented on 1 May 2019. 

DVA regularly reviews the RAP National Schedule of Equipment to ensure that RAP keeps pace with advances in technology and clinical best practice.

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 the following:

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.

Average: 3.7 (27 votes)