Continence Aids Payment Scheme
Note: the CAPS forms have recently been updated. Find out more information on the Bladder and Bowel Website.
The Continence Aids Payment Scheme (CAPS) is an Australian Government Scheme that provides a payment to assist eligible people who have permanent and severe incontinence to meet some of the cost of their continence products.
Who can apply for the scheme?
A person is eligible for CAPS if they are five years of age or older and have one of the following:
Permanent and severe loss of bladder and/or bowel function caused by an eligible neurological condition; or
Permanent and severe loss of bladder and/or bowel function caused by another condition, provided the person has a Centrelink Pensioner Concession Card, whether as a primary cardholder or a dependant of a cardholder; or
Permanent and severe loss of bladder and/or bowel function caused by another condition, provided the person has a Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) Pensioner Concession Card, whether as a primary cardholder or a dependant of a cardholder.
A person is not eligible for CAPS if:
They are not an Australian citizen or a permanent Australian resident.
They are a high care resident in an Australian Government funded aged care home.
The person receives an Extended Aged Care at Home (EACH) or an EACH Dementia (EACHD) package and continence products are negotiated as part of the applicant's care plan.
The person is eligible for assistance with continence products under the Rehabilitation Appliances Program (RAP).
The person's incontinence is transient (non permanent); can be treated conservatively (eg. through pelvic floor muscle exercises) with medication or with surgery; or is confined to night time bed wetting (enuresis).
The person's incontinence results from a condition other than an eligible neurological condition AND they do not have Centrelink Pensioner Concession Card entitlement.
What about State / Territory schemes?
If a person is eligible for the CAPS, and is currently receiving assistance with continence (or continence related) products through a State or Territory government funded scheme, they should contact their scheme manager to find out if the assistance will be affected by their eligibility for the CAPS.
How do I apply?
Applicants need to complete a CAPS application form, which includes a Health Report. A health professional must complete the Health Report component and the completed application must be returned to Medicare Australia.
Medicare Australia will process the application, and if the applicant is determined eligible, make the payment to their nominated bank account.If the application is incomplete or information is not valid, Medicare Australia will contact the applicant for further information.
If clients are unable to complete an application form in certain circumstances, a representative may complete it on their behalf (see the CAPS application form and guidelines for required criteria).
If you would like a CAPS application form contact:
Medicare Australia on 13 20 11 Select Option 2
National Continence Helpline on 1800 33 00 66
You can also request the form from www.bladderbowel.gov.au
Or download from from the link below.
How much is the payment and how often will it be made?
CAPS clients will receive up to $533.50 which will be indexed annually. Applicants can choose one full payment in July, or two half payments in July and January each year.
Can I authorise my payment to a representative or organisation?
Yes, a payment can be made directly into a representative's bank account (details of the relationship are required) or to a nominated organisation (which will assist the person to purchase their products). For more information on who can receive the payment see the CAPS application form and guidelines at www.bladderbowel.gov.au
Will the CAPS payment affect my income?
No. The CAPS payment is income tax exempt and will not be included in any Centerlink assessment as income.
For further information
For CAPS appilcation and payment inquiries contact:
13 20 11 and Select option 2
Call Medicare Australia for assistance with completing the CAPS application form or enquiries regarding the CAPS payment.
For further information about the CAPS schemes visit:
Bladder Bowel website www.bladderbowel.gov.au
For information about bladder and bowel control problems, continence product advice, referrals to continence services and information about your eligibility for funding schemes call the National Continence Helpline 1800 33 00 66.