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10.1 The Principles for the Provision of Alterations, Modifications, Aids & Appliances
The intention behind providing aids and appliances, modifications to vehicles and modifications/alterations to a person’s residence, workplace or educational setting is to enable a person to:
be as independent as possible;
effectively manage the impact of their accepted conditions; and
improve their quality of life.
This chapter explains how requests for alterations, modifications, aids and appliances are managed and processed.
The key concept in considering any request or proposal for the provision of alterations, modifications, aids and appliances relating to the rehabilitation of a client, is whether or not the item being requested is reasonably required to assist the client to achieve a rehabilitation goal.
Reasonableness is determined in the context of the aim of rehabilitation, which is to "maximise the potential to restore a person who has an impairment, or an incapacity for service or work, as a result of a service injury or disease to at least the same physical and psychological state, and at least the same social, vocational and educational status, as he or she had before the injury or disease" (section 38 MRCA).
Where clients hold a DVA Health Card, consideration must first be given to whether aids and appliances that are reasonably required can be provided through the Rehabilitation Appliances Program (RAP). Please note, for vehicle requests, including modifications to vehicles, the relevant vehicle schemes should be considered rather than RAP. Further information about the provision of vehicles and vehicle modifications can be found in section 10.12 of this library for the Motor Vehicle Compensation Scheme under MRCA, section 6.4 of the Compensation and Support Policy Library for the Vehicle Assistance Scheme under the VEA and section 10.10 of this library for the relevant DRCA provisions.
Where the item cannot be provided through RAP, or the clients does not hold a DVA Health Card, consideration may be given to whether the aid or appliance can be provided though a rehabilitation program.
The decision to provide an aid or appliance, modification or alteration must be based on clinical evidence from a specific functional or home assessment by a suitably qualified health professional. A product assessment may also be undertaken, to determine whether a specific product is well suited to a person’s needs. Please refer to section 10.2 of this chapter for further information about assessments for aids and appliances.
Delegates are encouraged to contact the DVA Occupational Therapy Advisers to seek guidance on individual client circumstances, particularly where clients have complex needs. These Advisers are situated in most locations and the following email contacts are suggested as starting points:
QLD - RAP.OT.Advisors.Secure.Qld@dva.gov.au (phone extension 48679)
NSW - email@example.com
VIC – firstname.lastname@example.org