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Department of Health

CAPS - Payment

CAPS payment amount

The CAPS payment rate for 2016-17 is up to $572.30. The payment is indexed each year, meaning it may slightly increase or decrease following the Government’s Budget process.

CAPS payment frequency

You can choose one full payment in July each year, or two half payments in July and January of each year. You can change your payment frequency by contacting the CAPS team on 1800 239 309.

How payments to new CAPS clients are worked out

You are expected to use the payment to purchase continence products. In the first year of participation in the scheme, the amount of money CAPS clients will receive is determined on a pro-rata basis, which means it is calculated from the day your application is processed during the year. You may receive a part payment in your first year (note that the financial year runs from 1 July - 30 June).

For example, if John Smith's application is processed on 1 September, 62 days have already passed into the financial year (31 days in July and 31 days in August). John will be paid for part of that year and not the full year and will receive payment for the remaining 303 days of the year (365 - 62).

  • John's payment for the first year will be calculated as follows:($572.30 / 365) x 303 = $475.09

John will receive his calculated CAPS payment either in one payment or in two part payments throughout the year.

CAPS payment statements

You will get a statement when payments are made. You will continue to receive your payment into the Australian bank account you nominated every year while you remain eligible.

It is your responsibility to notify Medicare on 132 011 or the CAPS Team on 1800 239 309 if your bank account or circumstances change.

No additional funds when you use all of your CAPS payment

The current CAPS payment rate for 2016-17 is up to $572.30 and is paid to assist with some of the costs associated with permanent and severe incontinence. If you have received your full payment or entitlement during the year, no additional funds will be paid within that same year.

Clients can also contact the National Continence Helpline 1800 330 066 for information about their local state or territory continence aid schemes.

You do not need to produce receipts for the CAPS payment

You can use your payment to buy continence aids from any supplier or retailer you choose. You don’t need to save or show your receipts.

People and organisations who can receive the CAPS payment

CAPS payments can be made to one of the following:

  • the applicant
  • a parent, if the applicant is under 14 years of age, or the applicant is at least 14 years but has not turned 18 years of age and does not have the capacity to act on their own behalf.
    Note: unless contrary information is provided, the custodial parent of an applicant under 14 is to receive the payment on the applicant's behalf
  • a legal representative – 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, as recognised by Centrelink for the purposes of the Social Security Law
  • a Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) Trustee, as recognised by DVA for the purposes of veterans' entitlements law
  • a DVA Agent as recognised by DVA for the purposes of veterans' entitlements law
  • a responsible person who has been approved by the Secretary of Department of Health, in writing, to receive a CAPS payment on an applicant's behalf
  • an organisation (other than a legal representative) that agrees to assist with the purchase of continence products.
How to direct CAPS payments to a representative’s bank account

You can choose to have another person act on your behalf for CAPS and to have the payment made directly to their account, although you will need certified documentary evidence of the legal relationship as required by the Department of Human Services (Medicare). See the CAPS Application Form and Guidelines for details.

A custodial parent can nominate a bank account in their name for a CAPS client (child) who is under 14 years of age. The parent's bank account can be nominated for a child aged between 14 and 17 years of age if the child does not have the capacity to act on their own behalf.

How to direct CAPS payments to a supplier of your choice

You can nominate to have the payment made directly to a supplier of your choice who can assist you to purchase their continence products. This must be authorised by you on the CAPS Application Form and cannot happen without your consent.

The Continence Foundation of Australia has a list of continence product suppliers you may find suitable, available on the Continence Foundation of Australia website.

How the CAPS payment affects your taxable income

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.

You must tell us if you are no longer eligible for the payment. Contact Medicare on 132 011 or the CAPS Team on 1800 239 309 to report a change in circumstances.

How to report a change in circumstances that affects your CAPS payment

Contact Medicare on 132 011 or the CAPS Team on 1800 239 309 if your circumstances change.

Tell them if:

  • you leave Australia for more than 3 years
  • you cease to be eligible
  • your address changes
  • you change your bank details

If you don’t tell them about the changes, you may not get your payment, or you may be overpaid and have to pay the money back.

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