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If you, or someone you know, experiences severe loss of bladder or bowel function, there is financial assistance available for purchasing the products you need to enjoy a great quality of life.

You may be aware of the Continence Aids Payment Scheme (CAPS) where you can get up to $521 a year from Medicare for continence products.

CAPS is an Australian Government Scheme that provides a payment to assist eligible people who have permanent and severe incontinence to meet some of the cost of their continence products.

Once enrolled in the program, Medicare will pay this money directly into your bank account, either once a year in July, or through split payments in July and January.

This money can also be paid to the supplier of your choice, like your pharmacy, to be credited for your purchases. To be eligible, you must have severe and permanent loss of bladder or bowel function.

This means frequent and uncontrollable moderate to large loss of bladder or bowel function that is unlikely to improve. If you think you fit the criteria, act quickly as the amount of money available decreases throughout the payment year, which starts in July.

If you, or someone you know, may fit the criteria, talk with your doctor who can fill out an application form with you. You can also talk with a continence nurse, your pharmacist, or visit

The National Continence Helpline can also help you, call 1800 330 066. This helpline is a great resource, and there are a number of other programs and support available besides CAPS that can be a huge help.

If you do experience any type of loss of bladder or bowel control, whether it’s a little bit or a lot, you should not ignore it.

These conditions will not fix themselves, but with most cases they can be improved or cured. Often the causes of bladder leakage are not permanent.

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