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Continence Program Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Continence Program and what does it do?

The Continence Aids Program is funded by the Department of Health and Human Services. This program provides people with a permanent or long-term disability, as well as those who are frail aged with funding towards the cost of continence items.

What types of continence items does the Continence Aids Program help to fund?

  • Anal plugs
  • Anal irrigation systems
  • Catheters(long term and intermittent)
  • Catheter drainage tubing, connectors, straps and valves
  • Condom drainage systems
  • Drainage bags
  • Drainage bottles and connectors
  • Intra vaginal bladder supports
  • Washable bedding and chair pads
  • Washable briefs and pads
Please note: Based on the recommendation of Continence AT Practitioner, a maximum of 12 pairs of re-useable pants / pads per 12 months applies. In exceptional circumstances, supply may be increased.

Please see catalogue for a complete list of fundable items.

What will it cost?

There is a maximum annual subsidy level for continence items. Supply is based on consumer need, recommended by a Continence AT Practitioner. A maximum subsidy level of up to $1200 applies over a twelve month period to eligible consumers. If the subsidy does not cover the full cost of the continence item, you or a third party will need to pay the remainder.

Am I eligible?

You are eligible for funding if you:
  • Are a permanent Victorian Resident or hold a temporary or permanent protection Visa or are an asylum seeker
  • Have a long term disability and/or are frail aged
  • Are not an in-patient of a public or private hospital or permanent residential care facility
  • Cannot claim continence items through private health insurance policy
  • Have not been released from hospital or an extended care centre within 30 days, where continence items required is related to the hospital admission 

How do I apply for the program?

You will need to be assessed by a registered continence AT Practitioner. Your AT Practitioner will complete an application form based on your needs.

Where can I access a Continence AT Practitioner?

Continence AT Practitioners near you can be found by talking to your local health care professional or by accessing the link to the Continence Foundation of Australia: http://www.continence.org.au


What happens after my application is submitted?

SWEP will receive your application and an administration officer will process and triage your application.


Once your application is processed, a letter will be sent to you informing you of the status of your application. If you do not receive a letter within two weeks, please contact your AT Practitioner or SWEP's Customer Service line on 1300 PH SWEP (1300 747 937).


If the subsidy does not cover the full cost of the continence item, a gap funding form may be sent to you to complete. This form will inform SWEP as to how the remainder of the cost is to be paid.


When funding is available, SWEP will call you to ascertain an ongoing need for the continence item and then place an order.

Will I need to reapply when I need more continence items?

SWEP will continue to supply continence items in an ongoing manner after the first order of supply. Phone orders can be placed with SWEP when you require your next supply of continence items.
Please note: Applications are required to be reviewed annually by a SWEP registered AT Practitioner.

Are there other programs that can help me with my continence needs?

The Continence Aids Payment Scheme (CAPS) formerly known as Continence Aids Assistance Scheme (CAAS) may be able to assist you. To find out if this applies to you, please access the link to Continence Aids Payment Scheme: http://bladderbowel.gov.au


Can I receive assistance through SWEP if I currently receive the Commonwealth Government's Continence Aids Payment Scheme (CAPS)?

Yes, if you are receiving assistance from the CAPS program you can still be assisted through SWEP's Continence Aids Program. More information regarding the CAPS formerly known as Continence Aids Assistance Scheme (CAAS) can be found at http://www.bladderbowel.gov.au/ or contact the National Continence Helpline on 1800 330 066 who can assist you with information. 

What if I am a NDIS Participant?

NDIS participants are able to utilise the SWEP contracted continence services by phoning SWEP on 1300 747 937. 

For 'Agency' Managed Participants
Prior to placing an order for you, our friendly SWEP team members will create a 'Service Booking' in your plan.

If we are unable to create a 'Service Booking', we will be unable to place your order and you will be asked to speak with your NDIS Planner to have your plan amended.

For 'Self' or 'Plan' Managed Participants
Prior to placing an order for you, the SWEP team will request payment for the services you require.

Payment is simple and can be made over the phone using a Credit or Debit card.

A receipt will then be provided to you in a timely manner allowing you to claim these costs from the NDIS.

** If as a 'Self' or 'Plan' Managed Participant you are unable to readily access your funds and wish to use
SWEP as your preferred provider, we suggest you contact your NDIS Planner and ask that funding for
these services be changed to 'Agency' managed. ** 

How do I provide feedback?

Feedback can be provided in the following ways:
  • Fill in a feedback form available on our Contact page.
  • Call our Customer Service line on: 1300 PH SWEP (1300 747 937) or (03) 5333 8100. If you require an interpreter, or have a hearing or speech impediment, we can assist by accessing the Victorian Telephone Interpreting & Translating Service or National Relay Service.
  • Write to us at: P.O. Box 1993, Bakery Hill, Vic 3354
  • Email us at swep@gh.org.au
  • Send a fax to 03 5333 8111


Please see the A&EP Guidelines on the SWEP website: http://swep.bhs.org.au or call SWEP on 1300 PH SWEP (1300 747 937) or (03) 5333 8100 for further information.

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