If you suffer from severe or permanent incontinence, you may have been signed up for the CAAS scheme in order to get assistance in paying for your incontinence products. Recently, the Australian government unveiled a new scheme called CAPS - the Continence Aids Payment Scheme. Since you undoubtedly have many questions and concerns about the new scheme, additional information about it is outlined below.
What Actions Should Current CAAS Customers Take?
Current CAAS clients should receive letters from the Department of Health and Ageing about the new CAPS scheme. The purpose of this letter is to inform all CAAS clients of the new scheme and lets them know what to expect. In addition to reading about the upcoming changes, clients will be required to complete a Transfer Form - sent out by Medicare Australia - in order to transfer from CAAS to CAPS. As part of the Transfer Form, clients will be required to provide their bank account details so that appropriate payments can be made. Clients in specific situations may also be required to complete an Authorisation Form which will authorise payments to be directed to a third party such as a carer or service provider.
Are Health Professionals Aware of the New Scheme?
Current CAAS health professionals have been made aware of the new CAPS scheme and will be prepared for it. National Information Sessions will be held in all territories and states, ensuring that suppliers, health professionals and clients are kept in the loop about the new scheme. Once the new CAPS scheme is in effect, health professionals can contact their local Medicare Australia offices in the event of any questions or concerns. Thanks to all of these preparations, it is expected that the new scheme will be implemented seamlessly.
Additional Information About the CAPS Scheme
As additional forms need to be completed by all existing CAAS clients, it helps to have an idea about how the new scheme is going to work. A few additional pieces of information that you should keep in mind about the CAPS scheme include:
- Eligible customers will receive up to $489.95 per financial year for their incontinence products, including adult diapers.
- Revisions to the total amount that clients are eligible for may change on an annual basis.
- You will have a couple of options about when you will receive payments. You may choose to receive one full payment each July, or half a payment in July and half a payment in January.
- Payments will be automatically deposited into your bank account.
- If you use up all of the money, no additional funds will be provided; it is strictly a one-off payment.
- You will not have to produce receipts for your purchases under the new CAPS scheme.
- CAPS payments will be excluded from your income, meaning that they will not affect your end-of-year tax obligation.
- Additional information about the CAPS scheme can be found at http://www.bladderbowel.gov.au/caps/capsfaq.htm.