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10.7.2 Provision of mattresses or beds through the rehabilitation provisions
DVA cannot supply orthopaedic type mattresses that are available from general bedding stores. Any request for a mattress to be provided under the rehabilitation provisions must be informed by an assessment from a suitably qualified health professional, such as an Occupational Therapist and contain detail about the features that are required to support the client’s needs as a result of their service related injury or illness. The request must identify the special features that distinguish the item from a commercially available “therapeutic” or “medical grade” bed or mattress.
The provision of beds and mattresses through the rehabilitation provisions may be considered on a case by case basis and only in specific circumstances, such as:
- where the client does not have a DVA Health Card and therefore cannot access an appropriate bed or mattress to address their clinical needs through the Rehabilitation Appliances Program (RAP); or
- where a currently serving Australian Defence Force (ADF) member with liability accepted for a service related injury is unable to access an appropriate mattress to meet their needs as part of their Australian Defence Force Rehabilitation Program (ADFRP) and the DVA Rehabilitation Coordinator is satisfied that section 58(2) of MRCA is satisfied, and the provision of the mattress would be likely to increase the length of time that client would serve as a Permanent Forces Member; or
- the lack of an appropriate bed or mattress to address the client’s needs is creating significant barriers to the person being able to achieve their vocational rehabilitation goals. This is likely to be particularly relevant where a person is experiencing difficulties sleeping because of an unsuitable bed and is struggling to retain employment, or to meet retraining or study goals as part of a vocational rehabilitation program.
When considering approvals for beds or mattresses under the rehabilitation provisions, a delegate must also consider whether the item is a cost effective option, particularly where a person is recovering from surgery, or their needs are likely to be short term. For example, sheepskins, bed raisers, bed boards, bed back rests, etc (available through the RAP Schedule) may provide enough assistance in the short term without having to replace a bed or mattress.
Where a mattress only (no base) is being recommended, it is important to get written confirmation from the supplier/manufacturer that a warranty for the mattress remains valid, if the corresponding base is not purchased.
The needs of the client's partner will generally not be considered. This means that, for example, if the client shares a bed with his/her partner, then mattresses with different sleep zones to promote the comfort of each partner will generally not be considered. The only exception to this would be if the client has unique requirements that relate to their accepted condition(s). Likewise, if the client had previously shared a bed with his/her partner and decided to change to two single beds, then DVA could consider covering the costs of the client's new single bed and mattress, if there is evidence from an assessment by an Occupational Therapist or other suitably qualified health professional that a change to a single bed is reasonably required due to the client's accepted condition(s). DVA will not cover the costs of purchasing a single bed and mattress for the client's partner.
Costs involved in the disposal of the bed being replaced or provision of manchester are not covered. Mattress protectors can only be provided when required as a result of a client’s compensable condition.
The client’s treating medical or allied health professional should complete the appropriate Standard Letter or Form in relation to the purchase of a mattress or bed.