RAP overview

Last updated: 
15 July 2020

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

What is the Rehabilitation Appliances Program (RAP)

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

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

Items available through the 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:

  • alarm (personal emergency response systems)
  • assistance dogs  (psychiatric assistance dogs, guide dogs, hearing assistance dogs and mobility assistance dogs)
  • bedding
  • communication and hearing
  • chairs and seats
  • cognitive, dementia and memory
  • continence
  • cushions and supports
  • diabetes
  • eating, kitchen and household adaptive
  • falls prevention
  • footwear
  • tinnitus
  • home and vehicle modifications
  • lifting
  • low vision
  • mobility
  • orthoses
  • palliative care
  • personal hygiene, grooming and dressing
  • physiotherapy and movement
  • prosthesis
  • respiratory home therapy (oxygen and positive airways pressure (PAP))
  • showering and bathing
  • speech pathology
  • stoma
  • TENS equipment
  • toileting

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.

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) or Local Medical Officers (LMO)
  • 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/LMO
  • 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/LMO
  • medical specialist
  • a health professional as part of hospital discharge.

Before prescribing

Before prescribing an item make sure:

  • the RAP Schedule lists you as an assessing health provider
  • you have assessed the client, for example, you have completed the functional, home or product assessment
  • the client has a clinical need for it
  • it is safe and clinically appropriate for the client’s use
  • it is the most cost-effective option to improve independence and function.

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
  • the client is living in residential aged care
  • 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.

For home modifications, two quotes are required from two different suppliers. We will let you know of our decision for supply.

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). For modifications, two quotes are required from two different suppliers.
  • any other supporting documentation.

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.

RAP items for our clients in residential aged care

Items for our clients in residential aged care depend on the level of care they are receiving. Clients receiving a higher level of care should have most of their non-customised items supplied by the home.

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

The Aged Care Eligibility Matrix provides a guide of the RAP items that may be available for our clients who live in residential aged care. Contact us if you need help with this.

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

Clients 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.

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 it is 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.

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.

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 home 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.

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.

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