Contact us: 1300 295 786

Domiciliary Equipment Service

Domiciliary Equipment Service

Funding Programs

There are funding options for individuals needing equipment or home modifications to support them to live in the community as independently as possible. The State and Commonwealth Government provide funding for people meeting specific eligibility criteria. Some providers access assistive technology from Domiciliary Equipment Service (DES) for these funding programs as listed below.

DHS Equipment Program

DHS Equipment Program

Effective 3 December 2018, the DHS Equipment Program is being managed by Domiciliary Equipment Service (DES), and continues to be responsible for providing equipment and home modifications to eligible clients, including those awaiting to transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

The program provides eligible people with equipment and home modifications for mobility, access, transfers, bathing and personal care, pressure management, seating and communication.

Assessment and selection is undertaken by qualified health professionals and registered nurses from non-government organisations, hospitals, community health services, and private practice.

The DHS Equipment Program continues to provide equipment and/or home modifications services to people who are:

  • Awaiting transition to NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme)
  • Clients, 65 years of age and over, and are clients of Commonwealth Continuity of Support Programme (CoS)
  • Clients, 65 years of age and over, and already have equipment or require customised mobility equipment
  • Requiring an Advanced Palliative Equipment Response (APER)

Please contact DES if you would like to discuss how to access equipment and home modifications through the program and options available.

Telephone 1300 295 786
Fax 1300 295 839
Email (inquiries  and feedback)
Email (request forms)

Disability Aged Clients and Customised Mobility

Disability Aged Clients and Customised Mobility

The  information in the following pages explains the process and forms required to make an application to the DHS Equipment Program for the following funding streams.

Disability - Aged Clients

If you were a client registered with Disability SA, aged 65 years and over at time of transition to NDIS (and therefore have been deemed not eligible by NDIA), you may be eligible for continued equipment services through the DHS Equipment Program.

This includes clients:

  • Accepted by the Commonwealth “Continuity of Support” (CoS) Programme for ongoing services and
  • Who have had an equipment service through Domiciliary Equipment Service in the last 18 months

Note: If you are eligible for the NDIS, but have CHOSEN not to accept their services, you will not be eligible for this funding

Even if you are eligible for ongoing equipment services through the DHS Equipment Program, you may need to access some equipment and home modifications through My Aged Care, depending on circumstances.

Customised Mobility Equipment

If you have a need for a specialised wheelchair, but do not having funding available to you through an alternative source, you may be eligible for funding through the DHS Equipment Program.

Equipment Program Contact Details

Equipment Program Contact Details

The DHS Equipment Program is currently based at Domiciliary Equipment Service – DES.

Please contact DES if you would like to discuss how to access equipment and home modifications through the program and options available.

Telephone1300 295 786
Fax1300 295 839
Email (inquiries  and feedback)
Email (request forms)



Determining Eligibility

Overarching Eligibility

To be eligible for DHS Equipment Program you must already be a registered client of Disability SA or Minda Inc.

Information on how to determine service eligibility is outlined in the documents below:

Key Approval Criteria

You must meet key approval criteria to be eligible for equipment or home modifications through the DHS Equipment Program:

Specific Eligibility Criteria and Screening Tools

Some items have specific eligibility criteria associated that must be met in addition to the Key Approval Criteria. For some of these items, a screening tool must be completed by your therapist. Use of the screening tool ensures all aspects of the eligibility criteria have been met.

For all relevant documents, proceed to the Specific Eligibility Criteria and Screening Tools on the eligibility document list.

All Category 2 requests must be submitted using a Delegate Approval Request Form (DOCX 106.3 KB) with any supporting documents.

Assessment and Ordering

Assessment and Ordering



You must have your needs assessed by a suitably qualified allied health professional, and they need to submit all paperwork to the DHS Equipment Program (currently based at Domiciliary Equipment Service - DES).

If you are requesting an item of equipment or home modification, or you are having difficulty using equipment currently provided, contact your service provider to arrange a health professional to assess your clinical needs.

Who can do an Assessment?

Any allied health professional with the right discipline for the item being requested can prescribe for eligible clients. The in scope list identifies which discipline can prescribe for each item type.

Minda Disability Choices (formerly ASSIST Therapy Services) continue to provide assessment services for clients living in metropolitan Adelaide on behalf of the DHS Equipment Program. They can be contacted to arrange an assessment.

Alternatively, clients can arrange an assessment (which may incur costs to the individual) via:

  • a Medicare Chronic Disease Management Plan through their GP
  • a private therapist (health insurance or self-funded)
  • the Commonwealth My Aged Care Programme (people aged 65 and over only), or
  • SA Health or Country Connect.

What is available through the DHS Equipment Program?

In Scope Lists are the lists of equipment or home modification types that the DHS Equipment Program has endorsed for supply when a client meets the Program's eligibility criteria.

The lists include information on assessor requirements, if delegate sign-off is required, and if any additional criteria and screening tools apply.

The Equipment Item Types and Definitions (XLS 80.5 KB) document provides a consolidated list of the equipment with definitions of each item.

Each equipment and home modification type on the In Scope List lists relevant documents that support the prescription process.

Note that all Category 2 items must be submitted with a Delegate Approval Request Form (DOCX 106.3 KB) and supporting documentation.

Selecting Equipment or Home Modifications

Selecting the most suitable item with the right measurements, features and accessories can sometimes be difficult. A number of information sheets have been developed to support assessors in the assessment of equipment and home modifications. Find further information on the assistive technology selection page.

There are multiple equipment and home modification documents which can assist in the appropriate selection and prescription of equipment or home modifications.

Submitting a request for Equipment or Home Modification

Submitting a request for Equipment or Home Modification

Details of the requirements of the equipment or home modification need to be recorded on a request form.

All Category 2 items must be submitted with:

An additional specification form may be needed if measurements or adjustments to the item need to be detailed. Any customised equipment item must also have an Equipment Selection Agreement Form (DOCX 144.4 KB) completed with the client.

Please ensure that individuals and their carers read the following document prior to planning and commencing major home modifications:

Further information can be found on the  Assistive Technology Services - Ordering page.

Transferring Ownership of Assistive Technology

Transferring Ownership of Assistive Technology

Ownership of most equipment supplied to clients via the DHS Equipment Program is retained by DHS, with DES tracking these items and managing any repairs and collections needed.

Some smaller equipment items and all home modifications are considered to be consumable and become the responsibility of the person to care for and maintain once supplied.

People moving to / from interstate can apply to have the ownership of the items transferred to the respective state funding program, as outlined in the documents below:

When equipment and home modifications are supplied to a person, there are Terms and Conditions associated with the provision of these items.

Follow up and Review

Follow up and Review

Follow Up

Following delivery or installation of equipment or home modifications, it is an expectation that follow up contact is made by the assessing therapist to ensure that it is meeting the person's needs. Any issues with the item or home modification need to be identified within the first month post-delivery. This process allows any clinical issues to be addressed by the assessor without a subsequent request form being needed.

Follow up can be completed via phone call (low risk, basic items) or home visit (high risk or complex items). If you are unable to complete a follow up check of the item, please advise DES so that alternative arrangements can be discussed.


Review is a process that is encouraged after a person has had their equipment for a period of time. It helps to identify any problems with either the function of the equipment, how it is being used by the client, or if the item requires replacement. These problems may result from changes in the client's condition, ability of the client to use the modifications, a change in their living situation, or deterioration of the item.

Domiciliary Equipment Service encourages prescribers to check with any client they have contact with if they are having any problems with their equipment, so as to avoid putting a person at unnecessary risk.

Becoming an Assessor

Becoming an Assessor

Allied health professionals and registered nurses can assess for, and select equipment and home modifications relevant to their discipline for eligible clients. It is expected that individual assessors adhere to their professional conduct and only complete assessments and recommendations for items within their skills and scope of practice.

Approved Disciplines

Different equipment and home modification types may only be prescribed by approved disciplines. This information can be found in the DHS Equipment Program Equipment In-Scope List (XLSX 102.8 KB)and the Home Modifications In Scope List (XLS 277.0 KB).

There is no registration process for assessors. All requests completed by assessors are sent to DES for consideration.

Training is available to support assessors in learning relevant information to support best practice and accurate prescription of various equipment and home modifications. See the training page for information on courses, session dates and times.

Wheelchair and Seating Service

Wheelchair and Seating Service

DES offers a Wheelchair and Seating Service for clients of the DHS Equipment Program. Find more information on the Wheelchair and Seating Service Page.

Access and Communication Technology Service

Access and Communication Technology Service

The Access and Communication Technology Service (ACTS) is a consultancy service that can provide support to clinicians when assessing for Augmentative and Alternative Communication Systems (AAC), Computer Access Technology (CAT) and/or Environmental Control Systems (ECS) for clients eligible for the DHS Equipment Program.

ACTS is staffed by a team of Novita Children's Services allied health specialists, with backgrounds in speech pathology, occupational therapy and electronics, and expertise in the field of assistive technology.

Documents for Prescribing ACTS


Forms - Assessment

Specific Eligibility Criteria

Glossary of Common Terms

Glossary of Common Terms

This is a list of common terms used for the DHS Equipment Program.

DHS Equipment Program

The Department of Human Services (DHS) state-wide equipment program (also known as the Equipment Program) services the equipment and home modification needs of a range of eligible clients.

Clients are assessed by Allied Health Professionals or registered nurse for items in scope of the program and they send their request to Domiciliary Equipment Service (DES) for consideration and approval. DES then manages the supply and maintenance of all.


Clients must meet the general 'key approval criteria' for the equipment item(s) or home modifications being requested. In addition, there are specific eligibility criteria for particular equipment items or /home modifications.

Key Approval Criteria

A set of key criteria that a person must meet in order to be eligible for any item available through the Equipment Program (see "Eligibility").

Specific Eligibility CriteriaSome equipment and home modifications have additional eligibility criteria that must be met by a client in order to be approved for supply. The in-scope lists indicate if the item has extra specific eligibility criteria.
Equipment Screening Tool

A tool that must be completed and submitted to the Equipment Program to demonstrate that the client has met the eligibility criteria set out for the item. Not all items require a screening tool to be completed; this is indicated on the in-scope list.

In-Scope lists - Equipment/Home Modifications

The lists of equipment or home modification types that the Equipment Program has endorsed for supply when the client meets the eligibility criteria. The list includes information on prescriber requirements, whether the item is Category 1 or 2 and whether any additional criteria and screening tools apply.

Equipment Item Types

Manual and powered wheelchairs, mobile shower commodes, seating and accessories, children's posture chairs, children's walkers, children's standing frames, technology and speech generating devices have different features and accessories available and the Equipment Program has listed these separately as different 'types (i.e. 1-4)'.  There is a document which describes each equipment type named Equipment Item Types.

Category 1 (Cat 1) Equipment

Generally, lower cost or easily re-issuable items that DES maintains as stock. These items are supplied immediately if available; they may be placed on back-order if not immediately available. Items are identified as Category 1 on the equipment in-scope list.

Category 1 (Cat 1) Home ModificationsGenerally, lower cost home modifications which will usually be completed within 2 weeks of being processed, pending availability of funding. Items are identified as Category 1 on the Home Modifications In-scope list.
Category 2 (Cat 2) Equipment

Equipment items that require sign-off by a delegate before DES will supply the item to the client. Item types are identified as Category 2 on the Equipment in-scope lists. If a client's needs cannot be met through the Cat 1 items available on the Catalogue, then the item being requested for purchase is considered Category 2. All Category 2 items require a risk rating and priority scoring form to be completed as part of the prescription.

Category 2 (Cat 2) Home ModificationsHome modifications that require sign-off by a delegate before DES will process the request. Home modification types are identified as Category 2 on the in-scope list.
Risk Rating and Priority Scoring FormThis is required for all Category 2 items of equipment. It is used to prioritise supply of these items..

Advanced Palliative Equipment Response

Advanced Palliative Equipment Response

The DHS Equipment Program Advanced Palliative Equipment Response (APER) is available for people who meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Live in Metropolitan Adelaide (Equipment Supply Suburb Listing for Metropolitan Adelaide (DOCX 142.8 KB))
  • Are registered and an active client of a community palliative service (SA Health Specialist Palliative Care Service)
  • Are in the terminal / end stages of their illness as agreed by the palliative service (expected to require services for less than 16 weeks)
  • Require a rapid equipment response due to the deteriorating nature of their condition
  • Are unable to access equipment through alternate funding sources in a timely manner

Referring to the Program

A person can be referred to DHS Equipment Program using the:

This form only needs to be completed once. DHS Equipment Program staff will review the request and will make contact with the person or their carer to discuss the referral.

Requesting Equipment or Home Modifications

Requests for equipment or home modifications can be made using the following:

If you are unable to complete a follow up check of the equipment or home modification once installed, please indicate this on the request form so that DHS Equipment Program staff can coordinate a follow up check by an occupational therapist or physiotherapist.

Please ensure all other funding sources have been exhausted prior to requesting equipment through APER.

  • Clients, under 65 years of age - consider referral to Adults with Chronic Conditions (ACC) - via Domiciliary Care (RDNS) - 1300 295 673 (additional information about this program can be found in FAQ document below)
  • Clients, 65 years of age and over - referral through My Aged Care for Home Care Package (1800 200 422) or via the client's existing package provider

Requesting beds

Please ensure any bed requests are submitted together with:

If further information or assessment is required, DHS staff will liaise with the local health networks who have made the request, and if necessary may engage a suitably qualified allied health clinician to carry out further assessment.

Requesting an Allied Health Assessment for Equipment or Home Modifications

If an assessment is required to determine equipment or home modification needs, this can be requested using:

Please note that mobility assessments must be completed by a physiotherapist.

Additional Information

With Domiciliary Care transferring to RDNS SA as of 1 July 2018, there have been some changes to pathways for people who require palliative services and to have their equipment needs met. The document below provides further information through some frequently asked questions.

National Disability Insurance Scheme

National Disability Insurance Scheme

National Disability Insurance Scheme in South Australia

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is the new way of providing support for Australians with disability, their families and carers. The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) is the statutory agency responsible for implementing the NDIS.

For more information about access to the NDIS in South Australia, go to NDIS in South Australia.

The NDIS is being introduced in stages and existing service users and new participants will enter the scheme progressively. All eligible South Australians will be able to register for the NDIS by July 2018, with the NDIS expected to provide support to about 32,000 people with a disability in SA at full scheme. The NDIA is working closely with the relevant Commonwealth and South Australian government departments to ensure a smooth transition for those who are already accessing services in this state.

The NDIS website provides a map of the South Australian Government regions with further information on how it will be rolled out.

Contact the NDIS

Phone 1800 800 110 for any queries specific to the NDIS, or visit the NDIS website for further contact options.

The NDIS can be contacted by phone on 1800 800 110, or the further contact options can be found on the NDIS website.

Services provided by DES for NDIS Participants

Services provided by DES for NDIS Participants

In South Australia, the Domiciliary Equipment Service (DES) has signed a working arrangement with the NDIA to continue providing assistive technology (AT), including equipment and home modifications, to NDIS participants. DES is a registered NDIS service provider and is responsible for the supply of AT needs that are included in a participant’s plan to support their goals.

DES services include the purchase, customisation, provision and repairs of AT for participants. DES supplies both new items and refurbished items that are considered ‘as new’ (see ‘about us’ for more information about what this means). Most items are on loan to participants and should be returned to DES when they are no longer needed. This unique model of supply helps provide value for the participant and the NDIS.

Following the request for an item by the participant and assessor, the NDIA will review this and if appropriate ask DES for the price to supply and provide future repairs and maintenance as needed. Once the quote is approved by the NDIA, DES will dispatch it immediately if it is readily available, or will order the item in. Items needing to be ordered may have a waiting time depending on the item or where it is coming from.

The NDIA may seek quotes from other AT providers if DES does not usually supply the item requested.

DES services also includes the provision of home modifications, and wheelchair and seating services. Find more information about the Wheelchair and Seating Service on the Wheelchair and Seating Service page.

Further information for NDIS participants and providers regarding access to AT can be found below, together with the relevant Operational Guidelines of the NDIA about accessing supports in the NDIS:

Other Help Available

The DES Services - Selection page on this website contains numerous supporting documents to assist providers in the assessment and selection of a variety of equipment and home modifications.

Follow these links for more information about DES Services including repairs and maintenance.

Accessing Assistive Technology from DES

Accessing Assistive Technology from DES

Equipment Request

The following flow chart will help you to know the steps involved in organising the provision of equipment items for participants through DES.

The DES Equipment Catalogue contains a listing of the items readily available from the DES Warehouse. The item listings contain images, specifications, clinical considerations and supporting documents to help choose an item of equipment. DES may also purchase in items that are not listed on the catalogue, on request.

Note: Please ensure that you include the DES item code (this code is listed against all items on the Equipment Catalogue) when completing the order form, so that we then supply the correct item.

Once the required equipment item for an NDIS participant is determined, you must complete the below form and email it to or fax it to 1300 295 839.

Home Modification Request

The following flow chart helps you to know the steps involved in organising the provisions of home modifications for NDIS participants thought DES.

Once the clinical assessment has been completed for an NDIS participant, you must complete the below form and email it to

Further information regarding the home modification service that DES provides can be found on the Supply of Home Modifications Page.

DES Terms and Conditions

Equipment and Home Modifications supplied through DES may have terms and conditions associated with them please ensure you have read any relevant information related to the DES Terms and Conditions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

I already have equipment from DES, what happens with it when I transition to the NDIS?

You can retain the equipment for as long as you need it, with NDIS funding only required for the ongoing repairs and maintenance, and replacement when required.  

When you are having your planning meeting, you will need to advise them of any equipment that you have so that the funds for any future repairs and maintenance can be added to your plan. We can provide you or your planner with a report listing all the items that you currently have on loan from DES.

How do I get my equipment repaired?

To arrange repairs or maintenance please call DES repairs, 1300 130 302. DES has an emergency after-hours service that is available outside of business hours and on weekends. For more information go to our page on repairs.

Who pays for repairs and maintenance?

The cost of the repair or maintenance will be billed to the NDIA and funded from your plan.

For major or high cost repairs or maintenance a quotation may need to be provided to the NDIA for approval prior to the repair or maintenance being carried out.

Who owns the equipment provided through DES?

DES retains ownership any items that have a yellow asset sticker on them. Any changes to the equipment must be arranged through an assessor. You can call DES on 1300 295 786 to discuss your options.

Can DES see my plan?

No. DES does not have access to view participant’s plans via the NDIA portal. DES can only see areas of the portal that are relevant to its business. DES relies on the NDIA planners, assessors or participants to confirm that requests have been approved.

Sometimes DES might ask you to send through the relevant parts of your plan to help to get the order processed.

Does DES use up my clinical hours from my plan?

Even though DES employs clinicians, DES services generally do not use up clinical hours on your plan.

The only times that you may need to use your clinical hours are:

  • If you have an initial appointment with the Wheelchair Seating Service, you may need to use hours from your plan. This will always be discussed with you first.
  • If you require a complex home modification, a building consultant may be required in the process. DES will discuss this with you first and the funding for this will need to come from your plan.

What happens when I don’t need the equipment anymore?

Most equipment that has been supplied from DES is on loan to you. These items have a yellow asset sticker on them. If you no longer need the item, please call DES, 1300 295 786 to arrange for it to be collected.

Private Hire

Private Hire

Domiciliary Equipment Service (DES) can offer private hire for the general public under the following guidelines.

Who can privately hire?


Anyone who is living in South Australia and who receives an Australian Government benefit (pension or health care card), can hire equipment items from DES, provided they have an initial referral for standard items from their General Practitioner (GP) or a registered health practitioner (e.g. an occupational therapist or physiotherapist).

Note that anyone who has previously hired equipment from DES may hire additional standard items without the need for a further referral.

To ensure that people and their carers are safe to hire more complex electrical items (beds, air mattresses, hoists, recliners), an occupational therapist or physiotherapist must make the referral for these items.

Discharge from hospital

Anyone who is an inpatient of a public or private hospital, regardless of whether or not they are in receipt of a Government benefit can hire equipment items from DES on discharge home.

The referral must come from a registered health practitioner or Licenced Medical Officer from the hospital where the person is discharged. For safety reasons, an occupational therapist or physiotherapist must make any referral for more complex electrical items (beds, air mattresses, hoists, recliners).

What is available to hire?

The DES catalogue lists the standard equipment types that are available for private hire. A DES equipment price guide (PDF 52.9 KB) of commonly hired items is also available. Please ensure that the item type along with its code is quoted in any enquiry to DES.

Requesting Private Hire

The referral should be on a GP letterhead, hospital letterhead OR on a DES Private Hire form (DOCX 82.7 KB), and must include the following information:

  • the person's full name, address, telephone, date of birth and pension benefit number (for community clients)
  • the item(s) of equipment required for hire
  • the delivery day and details (at least 24 hours notice needed)
  • details of the delivery contact if different from the person receiving the equipment
  • name and address for invoicing of hire costs if the client will not be responsible for payment (i.e. family member, public trustee)

DES requires a minimum of 24 hours' notice for any requests, and items can generally be delivered the next business day, or as detailed on the referral.

Please fax or scan and email the request to DES. Any enquires can be made via phone or email.

Phone 1300 295 786
Fax1300 295 839

Hire and Delivery

Weekly rental charges along with any freight will be confirmed at the time of enquiry.

In all instances the client / family or nominated third party is responsible for any hire and delivery charges.

Payment options can be made via electronic funds transfer (EFT), online using Bpoint, credit card in person or over the phone, by cheque or money order using Australia Post. Further information can be found in the DES Payment Options Information (DOCX 96.2 KB) document

If you are experiencing financial difficulties, please contact us to arrange a payment plan on 1300 295 786 and ask to speak to the finance team.

State Government of South Australia © Copyright DHS [sm v5.4.7.1] .

Last updated:29 May 2017 4:24pm
Provided by:
Department of Human Services
Last Updated:
27 Mar 2018
Printed on:
19 Sep 2019
The Domiciliary Equipment Service website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia Licence. © Copyright 2016