There are many schemes and programmes that provide financial support for senior Australians and people with disabilities.
Navigating these can be difficult, so we’ve compiled a list of services available from the Australian Government that provide financial assistance with healthcare and home support, as well as financial assistance for continence aids.
National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)
The NDIS provides support and financial assistance to eligible people aged under 65 with disabilities. It is designed to support people to improve their overall independence over time, to encourage community participation and manage their disability in day-to-day life.
Under the NDIS, you will be asked to participate in a planning meeting, where the NDIS team will put together a plan for you, including tasks or activities you’d like to achieve with NDIS support. Once you have your approved NDIS plan, you are able to choose and purchase the products and services that you need using the funding that you have been allocated.
To be eligible for funding under the NDIS, you must be aged between 7 and 65 years, live in Australia and be an Australian citizen, a Permanent Resident or have a Special Category Visa. If you are over 65 years of age or are otherwise ineligible for the NDIS, you may be eligible for alternative funding schemes such as the Commonwealth Home Support Programme or a Home Care Package.
Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP)
The Commonwealth Home Support Programme is designed for senior Australians to access basic support services to live independently at home. This programme is designed for short-term use or basic-ongoing assistance with one or two services.
The Commonwealth Home Support Programme subsidises the cost of home care support services, and you can choose your providers. Eligibility is based on your needs and age, and a face-to-face assessment with an Aged Care Assessment Team will ensure you receive the right level of support.
If your needs are more complex, or you require assistance long-term, you may be eligible for a Home Care Package instead.
Home Care Package (HCP)
Home Care Packages assist Australians aged over 65 years, with or without a disability, to live independently and safely at home. Home Care Packages are designed for senior Australians who need more assistance than can be provided by the Commonwealth Home Support Programme.
Home Care Packages are also available to younger Australians with a disability, dementia or other care needs, who are not otherwise eligible for the NDIS or other specialist services.
A Home Care Package enables you to choose a service provider who will provide a ‘package’ of home care services, from basic to high-care needs. Unlike the Commonwealth Home Support Programme, a Home Care Package provides funding for the cost of your chosen provider to coordinate and deliver a range of services. Services could range from personal care, such as assistance with showering or grooming, through to nursing and specialised support for ongoing medical conditions such as dementia or vision impairment.
Continence Aids Payment Scheme (CAPS)
The Continence Aids Payment Scheme is a yearly payment that can help to cover the cost of incontinence aids.
The scheme is offered under Medicare and doesn’t add to your taxable income. This means it doesn’t affect your ability to receive additional financial assistance from Medicare. The payment is in the form of a yearly direct deposit into your bank account, enabling you to choose your own product, brand and retailer. You can also have your payment made directly to a supplier of your choice, where your payment will be used to purchase your products.
To be eligible for CAPS you must be over 5 years old, have permanent and severe incontinence as confirmed by a health professional, and be an Australian citizen or Permanent Resident.
State and Territory financial assistance for continence aids
There are a range of State and Territory-operated continence aids funding schemes. The funding and products or benefits available vary, but each scheme requires clinical assessment by a medical professional.
|State or Territory||Assistance Available|
|Victoria||Aids and Equipment Program (A&EP)|
|New South Wales||Program of Appliances for Disabled People (PADP)|
|Australian Capital Territory||ACT Equipment Scheme (ACTES)|
|Queensland||Medical Aids Subsidy Scheme (MASS)|
|Northern Territory||Disability Equipment Program (DEP) Scheme|
|Western Australia||Continence Management and Advice Service|
|Tasmania||Community Equipment Scheme|