RAP overview

Last updated:

The Rehabilitation Appliances Program (RAP) provides aids, equipment and modifications to help our clients to live safely and independently.

Back to top

What is the Rehabilitation Appliances Program (RAP)

The RAP supplies items (such as aids, equipment and modifications) to clients to:

  • help them with an assessed clinical health care need
  • minimise the impact of their disabilities or dysfunction
  • improve their quality of life
  • enable them to live safely and with independence
  • facilitate their participation in the community
  • be an adjunct to their health treatment or a rehabilitation plan.
Back to top

Items available through RAP

The RAP National Schedule of Equipment (RAP schedule) lists the aids, equipment and modifications that are available. These fall into the following broad categories:

  • assistive listening devices and tinnitus devices
  • speech and communication devices
  • low vision appliances (non-optical)
  • cognition and memory devices
  • swallowing and feeding appliances
  • bathing, toileting, continence and personal hygiene products
  • diabetes products
  • assistance dogs (psychiatric assistance dogs, guide dogs, hearing assistance dogs and mobility assistance dogs)
  • alarm system / communication appliances/assistive listening devices
  • respiratory home therapy devices, including oxygen and positive airway pressure machines, beds and related appliances
  • chairs and other supports
  • Lifting devices
  • adaptive household appliances to help with doing everyday things around the house mobility devices to help with moving around, such as a walking frame, knee walkers, manual wheelchairs, electric scooters and wheelchairs
  • orthoses and prostheses
  • footwear not obtained through the Medical Grade Footwear Program
  • rehabilitation exercise and treatment machines
  • palliative care appliances
  • home modifications – non complex
  • home modifications – complex
  • stoma appliances
Back to top

Who can receive RAP items

Clients may be eligible for the RAP if they have an assessed clinical need and either a:

Further eligibility criteria applies to some items.

Back to top

Who can prescribe RAP items

The RAP Schedule details which assessing health providers can prescribe each item.

An assessing health provider may be:

  • General Practitioners (GP)
  • medical specialists
  • allied health professionals.

Allied health professionals

Before allied health professionals (except for optical, dental and hearing) can prescribe items, you must have a valid referral from either a:

  • GP
  • medical specialist
  • health professional as part of hospital discharge.

If you are not listed to assess and prescribe the item, you will need to refer the client back to their GP or medical specialist. The GP or medical specialist can:

  • assess and prescribe the appropriate item
  • refer the client to the relevant assessing health provider for the item.

Clients living in rural and remote areas

If an allied health professional is not available in rural and remote areas, items can be prescribed by:

  • a GP
  • medical specialist
  • a health professional as part of hospital discharge.
Back to top

Before prescribing

Before prescribing an item, make sure:

  • the RAP Schedule lists you as an assessing health provider
  • you have assessed the client
  • you have read any applicable RAP National Guidelines
  • following the assessment you have identified that the client has a clinical need for the item
  • you have checked that the item is available through our contracted suppliers
  • the item is safe and clinically appropriate for the client’s use
  • it is the most cost-effective option to improve independence and function.
Back to top

Prescribing RAP items

If you are prescribing an item please refer to:

  • the RAP Schedule – lists all items, if they have contracted suppliers, if prior approval is required, if contracted limits apply, and other information
  • the RAP National Guidelines – provides further assessment and supply criteria for some RAP items
  • the RAP Forms – order or apply for RAP items
  • Contracted Suppliers – lists our contracted suppliers, their contact details and websites.

Prior approval

The RAP Schedule advises if prior approval is required from us.

Prior approval is required when:

  • indicated in the RAP Schedule
  • the item exceeds the financial or quantity limit set in the RAP Schedule
  • the client is a Veteran White Card holder (to ensure the RAP item aligns with the client’s accepted DVA Condition)
  • the client is living in residential aged care and the requested item is something usually provided by the residential aged care facility (refer to the DVA RAP in Residential Aged Care List)
  • there are more items requested than is typically allowed.

How to order RAP items

For contracted items the assessing health provider submits the relevant RAP form to the selected contracted supplier. The contracted supplier will obtain prior approval from us when required. The supplier will also organise delivery free of charge. You cannot source from someone else.

For items that are not contracted, email rapgeneralenquiries [at] dva.gov.au with the:

  • RAP item number
  • details of the client
  • clinical justification
  • relevant RAP forms if required for the RAP item
  • details of the supplier and a quote.

Urgent or palliative care aids and appliances

If you are prescribing an item or items for clients in palliative care, please mark these requests as 'URGENT AND PALLIATIVE' and forward to a contracted supplier.

Requesting aids, equipment and modifications outside the RAP Schedule

We can review the supply of items if they are not:

  • on the RAP Schedule
  • available from a contracted supplier

Assessing health providers must send requests to rapgeneralenquiries [at] dva.gov.au

For us to assess your request you must include:

  • the client’s assessed clinical need
  • how the items will meet the assessed clinical need
  • whether the client has trialled the item and the outcomes
  • why none of the RAP items meets the client’s clinical need
  • information about the item and any clinical evidence to support it
  • details of the supplier and the item cost (attach a quote to supply)
  • any other supporting documentation.
Back to top

RAP items for our clients in hospital

An assessing health provider may prescribe a RAP item if the client needs it either:

  • for more than 30 days following discharge from a public hospital
  • at the time they discharge from a private hospital.
Back to top

RAP items for our clients in residential aged care

Aged care homes are funded by the Commonwealth Government to provide a client’s clinical and care needs, as specified in Schedule 1 of the Quality of Care Principles. They are required to provide the furnishings, aids and equipment necessary to meet the resident’s care, safety and comfort needs, including to accommodate the resident’s height or weight.

Where an aged care facility is funded to provide an aid or appliance, it is expected to do so. DVA does not seek to duplicate these arrangements.

However, eligible DVA clients living in a residential aged care facility may access RAP items, including personal and customised items, depending on their assessed clinical need when a facility is unable to provide the item.

The RAP in Residential Aged Care List provides further guidance on the RAP items which may be prescribed for clients living in residential aged care. These items must not duplicate items the facility is already funded to provide.

Speak to the residential aged care home in the first instance to check if they are responsible for supplying the product to the client. If the residential aged care home is not responsible, contact us to check the client’s eligibility.

Items that are usually provided by the residential aged care facility (indicated by a Icon - triangle in the RAP in Residential Aged Care List) require prior approval and clinical justification to be supplied through RAP.

Most of the products available under the RAP in Residential Aged Care List can be supplied by one of our contracted suppliers. Contact us if you need help with this.

Some products on this list require the aged care home to consent to the client having the item, as the size or nature of the item may be a safety issue. For example a recliner chair in a client’s room may restrict nursing access or a scooter may not be suitable in some facilities as it may pose a risk to other residents.

Portable RAP products received before a client moves into residential aged care can be taken with them if the aged care home approves it.

RAP home modifications will not be undertaken in residential aged care homes.

Back to top

Clients living in retirement villages or independent living units

Retirement villages or independent living units are built to cater for the needs of ageing persons. They operate within state or territory legislation.

Assessing health providers should speak to the management in the first instance to check the type of home modifications they will fund for the client. Generally, the village or unit will make basic modifications to meet a person’s clinical need. Any remaining modifications must be funded by the client with approval from the management of the village or unit.

In exceptional circumstances, we may consider undertaking a home modification.

Contact us to check the client’s eligibility.

Refer to the RAP National Guidelines for Home Modifications.

Back to top

RAP for our clients receiving other government services

Some of our clients may be accessing other government services at the same time from:

  • National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)
  • Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP)
  • Home Care Packages

Items can be provided by us or other government services as long as they are not duplicated. For example, a client could receive a walking frame from the RAP, and a mobility scooter from the NDIS, but not a frame or scooter from both the RAP and the NDIS. Contact us if you need help with this.

Back to top

Maintenance, repairs and returns

Clients or their carers can arrange maintenance, repairs or returns with the supplier of the item. Usually the supplier’s contact details will be located on the item.

The client or assessing health provider should contact us if:

  • the supplier is not able to repair the item
  • the client no longer needs the item

Neither the client nor their carer should attempt to make repairs to an aid or appliance. An aid and appliance should be used safely and only for the purpose for which it was designed.

Back to top

Moving home or interstate

Clients may take portable RAP items to their new address. Clients moving into residential aged care will need to speak to the aged care facility about the RAP items they can take with them.

If a client moves, they should give their new address to the supplier of their portable RAP item. This is to help them with any maintenance, repairs or returns.

Any home modifications and fixed items that have been installed at the current address cannot be removed or reinstalled at the new address.

If the client needs aids, equipment or modifications at the new address, please arrange a new RAP assessment so they can remain as independent as possible at the new address.

Back to top

Resources for assessing health providers

On 1 November 2021 changes were implemented to the Rehabilitation Appliance Program Schedule (RAP Schedule) for Mobility and Functional Support and Home Modifications items. A PowerPoint Presentation has been developed to assist assessing health providers Understanding MFS Changes (PDF 3.14 MB)

DVA's Occupational Therapy Advisers have developed the following documents to assist OTs to develop detailed specifications for home modifications.

These checklists are not compulsory but they could be submitted as supporting documentation with the home modification s form and package.

Back to top

Medical grade footwear (MGF)

Clients with a significant deformity or abnormality of the foot or ankle may receive medical grade footwear recommended by their podiatrist or medical specialist. This includes ready-made and custom-made medical grade footwear.

This footwear is not provided under the RAP Schedule but through the Medical Grade Footwear program.

Information for providers can be found on our Medical Grade Footwear page.

Back to top

Contact us

To speak to us about RAP you can:

  • call our Health Provider Line on 1800 550 457
  • email rapgeneralenquiries [at] dva.gov.au
Back to top
Was this page useful?
Please tell us why you selected 'Yes'?
Please tell us why you selected 'No'?