CAPS is an Australian Government program. It provides a payment to eligible people, to help with some of the costs of buying continence products.
Why it is important
More than 4.8 million Australians have a bladder or bowel problem. CAPS help you reduce the costs of buying continence products from a supplier of your choice.
To get CAPS you need to meet all the eligibility requirements. The basic requirements are that you:
- have permanent and severe incontinence
- have an eligible neurological condition or eligible other condition that is the cause of your permanent and severe incontinence
- be 5 years or older
- be an Australian citizen.
You may not be able to get CAPS if you don’t meet eligibility.
How to apply for CAPS
There are 4 steps in applying for CAPS:
- Get ready to apply – this includes getting a copy of the Application Guidelines and Application Form or from October 2023, if you are applying for yourself you can use your Medicare online account through myGov, or in the Express Medicare Mobile app, to apply.
- Get your doctor or health professional to complete their part of the form.
- Submit your application.
- Wait for the result.
There are a few ways to get a CAPS application form. You can:
- download an Application Guidelines and Application Form
- request a paper copy of the application form by contacting National Mailing & Marketing
- call the Continence Helpline or the CAPS team for a copy
You may need to provide extra documents. When you fill in the form it will tell you what these are.
The CAPS payment rate for 2023–24 is $676.50. The payment may increase or decrease a little every year following the Government’s budget process.
Your CAPS payment is paid into your choice of an Australian bank account. The account can belong to:
- the custodial parent of a child getting CAPS
- your legal or authorised nominee
CAPS payments aren’t included in your income tax calculations.
CAPS is not a retrospective payment scheme. The applicant’s initial CAPS payment is based on a pro-rata rate calculated from the date Services Australia receives a complete application form. Applicants can receive the CAPS payment in one annual payment or in two bi-annual payments. Annual payments are paid in July and bi-annual payments are paid in July and January of each financial year.
Services Australia is unable to provide recipients with specific payment dates. Recipients and/or their nominee will receive a payment statement confirming their payment details.
Managing your payment
You can also nominate someone to act on your behalf for anything related to CAPS.
Buying continence products
You can buy any continence products you need with CAPS funding. Ask your health professional about what types of products will best suit your needs.
The Continence Foundation of Australia has a list of products that may help you to choose the best product for you.
You can buy continence aids products:
- at supermarkets or pharmacies
- online or by phone
Your local health service can also stock continence products for you.
Who is involved
Services Australia administers CAPS. They process your application and make the payments.
Health is responsible for CAPS policy. We also manage communications about CAPS. We work with Services Australia on eligibility and payment issues and respond to policy enquiries.
CAPS is an ongoing program funded by the Australian Government.