Electric Mobility Aids
Electric Mobility Aids (Electric Scooters, Wheelchairs, Power Assist Devices and Carer Operated Wheelchair Power Pack)
RAP Schedule no.
AP05 (Electric Scooter)
AP16 (Electric Wheelchair)
AP25 (Manual Wheelchair – Power Assist Device)
AP26 (Manual Wheelchair – Carer Operated Power Pack)
(refer to RAP Schedule)
An electric scooter is defined by DVA as an electrically powered device with four wheels intended for use by persons with impaired outdoor mobility.
An electric wheelchair (EWC) is defined as an electrically powered wheelchair intended for use by persons with significantly impaired indoor and/or outdoor mobility.
A power assist device is defined as a motorised device that attaches to a manual wheelchair to assist the user with self- propulsion.
A carer operated wheelchair power pack is defined as a motorised device that attaches to a manual wheelchair to assist a carer to propel the wheelchair via controls mounted on the push handle.
Electric mobility aids are provided to veterans who have an assessed clinical need and hold a:
Note: War widows/widowers and dependants are eligible for carer operated wheelchair power packs only.
War widows/ers or dependents are not eligible for electric wheelchairs, electric scooters and power assist devices.
For clients living in a Residential Aged Care Facility (RACF): Please refer to the RAP in Residential Aged Care List to determine items available to residents of aged care facilities. Please obtain consent from the RACF management, as electric mobility aids may be considered a safety issue for other residents of the facility. Electric mobility aids issued under the RAP National Schedule of Equipment prior to permanent entrance into RACF care may be retained subject to approval of the RACF.
Suitably qualified health provider
Electric mobility aids must be prescribed by a suitable assessing health provider.
Initially requested by a General Practitioner or Local Medical Officer (GP/LMO).The assessment and trial of electric mobility aids must be conducted by an Occupational Therapist (OT).
Prior approval is required for all electric mobility aids.
The prior approval process for electric mobility aids is a three-step process.
DVA must approve each step before the next step can proceed.
Deciding on the most appropriate item
DVA only funds one electric mobility aid per person. Additional electric mobility aids will be only be considered in exceptional circumstances.
A suitably qualified and experienced health provider must determine the need. The client must:
Electric wheelchair or an electric scooter
If the assessing health provider believes that a EWC rather than a scooter will be required within six months of the assessment, then a EWC should be provided in the first instance.
Power assist devices should be provided only when a scooter or EWC is not a safer, more appropriate option.
Power-assist devices are only to be fitted to manual wheelchairs that conform to Australian Standards, and have a manufacturer’s endorsement stipulating compatibility.
Carer operated wheelchair power packs should only be provided where the carer is not able to propel a manual wheelchair, and the DVA client is unable to independently and safely operate a EWC, scooter or manual wheelchair with power assist device.
In this case, the carer must have sufficient skill and competencies to operate the device in a safe manner.
Limitations of use
In certain circumstances, the GP/LMO or occupational therapist may recommend that the use of an electric mobility aid (EWC, electric scooter or power-assist device) be limited.
Limitations may include:
|Request for item
The initial request for all electric mobility aids must be submitted by the client’s GP/LMO on the D9300 Electric Mobility Aids Part 1 - Medical Information Form and email it to RAPGeneralEnquiries [at] dva.gov.au.
Note: The client’s visual acuity is required and the request will not progress if this form is provided without this information.
Once the initial request is approved by DVA, the OT will be notified by DVA to complete and submit the assessment section of the form with the client or carer (in requests for carer operated wheelchair power pack) D1325 Electric Mobility Aids Part 2 - Assessment Form.
and forward this with any other supporting documentation to RAPGeneralEnquiries [at] dva.gov.au.
Once the assessment section has been approved by DVA, the OT will be notified to undertake the trial with the client and complete the trial section of the D9379 Electric Mobility Aids Part 3 - Trial Form.
This is to be forwarded to DVA with any other supporting documentation including if ancillary equipment such as a helmet is needed to RAPGeneralEnquiries [at] dva.gov.au.
AP14 (Mobility Appliances – Consumables and Accessories)
Safety Helmet – Safety helmets are strongly recommended for all clients with an electric mobility aid. The fitting of a suitable safety helmet for the client should be completed during trial assessments, and a prescription for a suitable safety helmet should accompany the recommendation.
Additional items, as appropriate must be prescribed by a suitably qualified health provider at the same time as prescribing the electric mobility aid. Some examples include:
DVA does not provide or fund for electric mobility aids for:
In exceptional circumstances, such as if a client is fully dependent on a wheelchair for mobility, DVA will consider ramps to access their home.
Ongoing Repairs and maintenance
A warranty period of 12 months applies to all electric mobility aids through the DVA contracted supplier. Products may have a longer warranty period provided by the manufacturer.
Repairs and maintenance (AP21- Mobility Appliances – Maintenance and Repair) after the 12 months can be arranged through the DVA contacted supplier who will obtain DVA approval if required.
Batteries for electric mobility aids (AP14 – Mobility Appliances- Consumables and Accessories) can be arranged by the client through the DVA contracted supplier.
DVA does not fund insurances for electric mobility aids. As part of the agreement between DVA and the client, the client must arrange relevant insurances. Clients are advised in the approval letter to contact their state or territory Department of Transport to check if registration of the EMA is required and what insurance is required in their local area. Note a number of states include some insurances within their registration fees.
The client is strongly encouraged to organise relevant insurances which may include:
When organising the insurance the client should make inquiries into insurance policy options such as:
Some States have mandatory registration of electric mobility aids which may include a level of insurance – clients need to check with their state or territory transport authority.
Hired electric mobility aids
Some electric mobility aids are hired for an initial 12 month period and during this time the item remains the property of the RAP contracted supplier. If the client no longer requires the item within the first 12 months, the item must be returned to the contracted supplier.
After the 12 month hire period – purchase period has elapsed, the item is paid for, the equipment remains with the veteran, or if the item is not wanted, the contracted supplier can be contacted to discuss the return of the item.
|Australian Standards and legislative requirements
Prescribed electric mobility aids must conform to Australian Standards AS3695 and AS/NZS3696. The Standards covers manual wheelchairs with add-on power assisted devices used for propulsion.
Power assist devices and accessories must only be used on compatible aids and must conform with Australian Standards and manufacturer’s recommendations.
Assessing health providers should ensure items comply with the relevant state or territory transport authority. DVA will only provide electric mobility aids that meet legislative requirements, including state or territory laws. There is variation between states and territories in what can be legally prescribed, e.g. maximum limits for the weight of electric mobility aids.
Use of medications (prescription and over the counter), alcohol, medicinal cannabis and illicit drugs
Clients must adhere to the relevant state and territory legislation including the use of alcohol, medications (prescribed or over the counter) and illicit drugs whilst operating electric mobility devices.
|Notifications following the approval of the item
The GP/LMO must be satisfied that the client is competent and will be safe to use the electric mobility aid.
The OT must be satisfied that the client is competent and will be safe during the use of the electric mobility aid.
The OT must also agree to schedule in regular reassessments (i.e. annual) with the client to review their ability to safely operate the electric mobility aid.
The OT is to notify the client’s GP/LMO if there is a change in the client’s ability to use the electric mobility aid.
The client is required to transport, maintain, store and use the electric mobility aid correctly. The client is required to:
The client is required to sign an agreement to undergo regular assessments with an OT and agree with any determination made by the OT. If an incident or accident occurs, the client needs to agree to reassessment.The client is to report any changes in their medical condition that may affect their capacity to safely operate the electric mobility aid to their GP/LMO or OT.
|Health Provider Hotline