Electric Recliner Chairs

Last updated:

RAP Schedule number

AC06 [refer to RAP Schedule]


DVA defines an electric recliner chair as an electrically operated chair intended for use by persons with a permanent inability to transfer or sit erect.

DVA does not provide chairs with heating and massage units or chairs that build into normal lounge set ups.  


The DVA client must have a clinical need and a:

  • Gold Card; or
  • White Card with an accepted condition relating to the clinical need for the equipment.

Clients 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.  Consent from the RACF management must be obtained before an assessment commences as the provision of such an item may create a safety issue for staff and other residents of the facility.  Electric recliner chairs 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 recliner chairs must be prescribed by a suitable qualified assessing health provider.  For this type of item, these include:

  • Occupational Therapist (OT);
  • Physiotherapist (Physio); or
  • Specialist (S).

Prior approval

Prior approval is only required when the supply limit of more than one per person, including the replacement of the electric recliner chair, arises.

Deciding on the most appropriate item

Electric recliner chairs are provided under RAP when a client has a clinical condition making them unable to:

  • safely and independently transfer to and from an appropriate height chair;
  • sit erect in an appropriate chair.

Electric recliner chairs are not provided:

  • when clinical needs can be met by current furniture or by other simpler RAP items, e.g. bed blocks, adjustable height lounge chair;
  • for comfort;
  • primarily for the management of back or musculoskeletal pain;
  • primarily for use as a bed;
  • primarily for the management of lower limb oedema

Before prescribing:

  • review the client to determine if function can be improved;
  • conduct a home assessment to determine the suitability of existing furniture and space;
  • consider if other simple RAP items could also address the clinical need of the client;
  • trial chairs with the client and their carer to determine the most appropriate chair;
  • consider if other RAP items could also address the clinical needs of the client.

Note: Clinical notes may be requested by DVA. The assessing health provider should keep a copy of the assessment.

Request for item

  1. Conduct an assessment with the client to determine the most suitable RAP product. This may include trialling products.
  2. Complete the D0992 RAP Mobility & Functional Support Products Order Form.
  3. If the client is a Gold Card holder, complete form and send directly to one of the contracted suppliers detailed on the form.
  4. If the request is for:
    • a client with a White Card;
    • a client living in a Residential Aged Care Facility (RACF);
    • a replacement; or
    • an additional electric recliner chair.

Send the completed form with supporting clinical information to DVA at rapgeneralenquiries [at] dva.gov.au. DVA will confirm eligibility and consider the request based on the supporting information.

  1. Once DVA confirms the eligibility or approves the request, the order will be forwarded to the Supplier.
  2. If the request is declined by DVA, the assessing health provider and client will be notified.

Supporting documentation for prior approval request

The supporting documentation is only required to:

  • establish that a White Card holder’s clinical need aligns with their accepted conditions or Non Liability Health Care;
  • justify the requirement for an additional electric recliner chair.

Supporting information should document the client’s clinically assessed need, any assessments or reviews and results of trials that helped determine the most suitable chair.

Additional information

Ancillary equipment

Recliner chairs come with a footrest and back support, which may require customisation.  Accessories may be supplied, e.g. neck supports.

DVA does not install utilities such as power points for recliner chairs. This is the responsibility of the home owner.

If the client moves into a RACF, they need to obtain permission from the RACF’s management to relocate the recliner chair. If permission is granted, DVA will continue to maintain the chair.

Note: Some DVA items 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

There are no Australian Standards for recliner chairs. If Australian Standards are developed, compliance would be required.

Health Provider Hotline

1800 550 457
Health Providers can contact DVA for any enquiries by calling the Provider Hotline: (Please press Option 1 when prompted for RAP, or Option 3 for prior health approvals).

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