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New items available through Rehabilitation Appliances Program

Female RAP provider assisting a male client in a wheelchair

Thursday, 13 June 2019 — The Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) has improved the Rehabilitation Appliances Program (RAP) to expand support available to eligible DVA clients. 

Key changes include:

  • Eligibility for electric mobility aids (electric scooters and wheelchairs, and power assist devices) has been extended to all veterans with a DVA Gold Card and a medically assessed need for the item. DVA White Card clients must have a medically assessed need for the item due to a war-caused or service-related condition.
  • Rails and ramps can now be installed at more than one access point of a home, facilitating access to other areas such as gardens and sheds.

New items have been added to the RAP National Schedule of Equipment, including:

  • Dignity clothing, such as clothing protectors and rear-fastening garments.
  • Carer-operated wheelchair powerpacks.
  • Mobile personal emergency response systems.
  • Ergonomic chairs.
  • Holders for electronic readers.
  • Jaw motion rehabilitation systems.

Other improvements include:

  • The Cefaly transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) device has been added to existing supplier contracts.
  • Thickened fluids, previously only supplied under the Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, are now supplied under RAP, making them available to clients more efficiently.
  • 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 hoses in the past can be re-assessed and prescribed with a new speed-controlled hose.
  • A new RAP National Guideline has been issued to assist with prescribing assistive listening devices.

The changes follow a comprehensive review of RAP undertaken in 2018, which involved consultation with the veteran community, ex-service organisations, health provider associations, RAP suppliers, health and medical advisers, and stakeholders across government. 

Client feedback and patterns in requests through RAP were also considered in enhancing what is on offer. The 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.

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