Continence Aids Payment Scheme
Helps you meet some of the costs associated with continence and continence related products if you have permanent and severe incontinence.
- have permanent and severe incontinence
- are 5 years of age or older
Eligibility & payment rates
You may be eligible for the Continence Aids Payment Scheme if you’re 5 years of age or older and have permanent and severe loss of bladder or bowel function.
Your incontinence must be a result of an eligible neurological or other condition listed on the Department of Health bladder and bowel website, and you’re entitled to:
- a Centrelink Pensioner Concession Card - either as the primary cardholder or a dependant of a cardholder, or
- a Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) Pensioner Concession Card either as the primary cardholder or a dependant of a cardholder
You’re not eligible for the Continence Aids Payment Scheme if:
- you’re a care recipient, under the Aged Care Act 1997, and:
- your care plan includes continence aids, or
- you receive a home care package and continence aids are part of your care plan
- you have a DVA Gold or DVA White Card and you’re eligible for assistance with continence aid products under the DVA Rehabilitation Appliances Program
- you have a funded package of support from the National Disability Insurance Scheme and continence aids are included in your plan
- your incontinence:
- is temporary
- can be treated with other methods such as pelvic floor exercises or bladder retraining, medicine or surgery, or
- is limited to night time bed wetting
- you’re serving a prison sentence
- you’re an Australian permanent resident or citizen who has resided outside Australia for 3 continuous years
To be eligible for the Continence Aids Payment Scheme you must satisfy residence requirements.
To be eligible for the Continence Aids Payment Scheme you must:
- be an Australian permanent resident or citizen
- continue to meet the residence requirements for as long as you get this payment
- meet the other eligibility requirements
If the payment is for a child, they must also meet the residence requirements.
The amount of the initial payment you receive is calculated from the day your application is received to the end of that financial year. You do not need to reapply for future payments. After the initial payment, you will receive the full payment each year while you are eligible.
Find out more about the current financial year payment amount and other payment information on the Department of Social Services bladder and bowel website.
You can elect to receive the annual payment in full in July each year or as 2 half payments in July and January of each year. You will get a statement when payments are made. You can change your payment frequency by contacting the CAPS team.
You will continue to receive your payment into your nominated bank account every year whilst you remain eligible. It is your responsibility to notify us if your bank account or circumstances change.
Payments can be made into a nominated Australian bank account of:
- the applicant
- a parent if the applicant is under 14, or is under 18 and does not have the capacity to act on their own behalf
- a legal or authorised nominee, including a person nominated under a Power of Attorney, an appointed legal guardian or a Public Trustee, with authority to receive payments on the applicant’s behalf
- an applicant's Centrelink Payment Nominee
- a Department of Veterans' Affairs Trustee or Agent
- a responsible person who has been approved by the Department of Social Services in writing, to receive a payment on an applicant's behalf, or
- an organisation other than a legal nominee that agrees to help the applicant buy their continence products
The payment cannot be paid into a credit card, loan or mortgage account.
Payments aren’t included in any income calculations for tax purposes. This includes residential care in an Australian Government funded aged care facility and Centrelink payments.
Once you have read about eligibility the next steps are:
- read the conditions for applying
- obtain the claim form
- complete the application form with your health professional
- provide supporting documentation
- submit your application
We will assess your claim and tell you the outcome.
Managing your payment
You, or your legal or authorised nominee, need to tell us if your circumstances change as your payment may be affected.
Tell us if:
- you leave Australia for more than 3 years
- your personal circumstances for eligibility change
- your address changes
- you change your bank details
- your care arrangements change
If you don’t tell us about the changes, you may not get your payment, or you may be overpaid and have to pay the money back.
You must tell us if you are no longer eligible for the payment. Contact the CAPS team to report a change in circumstances.
Children 5 to 15 years of age should have their continence reassessed at least every 2 years by a health professional.
All other applicants should have a regular review of their continence needs with their health professional.
We don’t supply continence products. You can use your payment to buy continence aids from any supplier or retailer you choose. You don’t need to save or show us your receipts.
If you don’t have a supermarket or pharmacy near you, you can buy products online or over the phone. We recommend you ask your health professional about which products are appropriate for you. The Continence Helpline can also assist. Read more about the helpline on the Continence Foundation of Australia website.
The Continence Foundation of Australia has a list of product providers.
This list is available on the Continence Foundation of Australia website.
You can nominate another person to act on your behalf for the Continence Aids Payment Scheme.
Call the National Continence Helpline on 1800 330 066 for information about your local state or territory scheme.
Read more about bladder and bowel health on the Department of Health bladder and bowel website.
Select the options that describe your circumstances, then explore a list of possible Centrelink and Medicare payments and services online.
Select your state and topics of interest to find links to government and community organisation support.