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Equipment Program

Key Approval Criteria for Home Modifications

General Home Modification Criteria:

  • The Department of Human Services (DHS) will provide disability-specific home modifications, not standard household items or home renovations.
  • The home modifications will only be provided for the client’s primary residence.
  • There must be written agreement from the property owner (including rental property owners) to all aspects of the home modification.
  • Written permission must be sought from a strata corporation for all modifications involving the exterior of housing or any shared areas of a property that has a strata title.
  • All ongoing repairs and maintenance of home modifications are the sole responsibility of the property owner.
  • Modifications will not be completed by DHS in aged care or disability specific housing. Housing SA properties will not be modified by the equipment program. Modifications for Housing SA, aged care or disability specific housing properties should be arranged through the corresponding agencies.
  • Alternative accommodation, bathing and toileting arrangements that may be required during the completion of the home modification are the responsibility of the client.
  • Tiling, painting etc. will be “made good” following a modification, colours may not be able to be matched.
  • Wherever possible and practical, home modifications will comply with the relevant Australian Standards 1428.1 Design for Access and Mobility and the Building Code of Australia.

Major Home Modification Criteria**:

**(see “Major Home Modifications refers to”  below)

  • Only be completed for a long term need and not for clients with an acute or rapidly deteriorating condition where the need is likely to be short-term. The client’s condition must have stabilised after an acute episode and associated rehabilitation, prior to the prescription of major home modifications
  • Only the most cost effective modification will be completed or the most cost effective area modified
  • Only one entry point and one of each type of functional area will be modified per home (i.e. no more than one bathroom, one kitchen and one ramp) will be supplied.
  • In the case of a change of residence, a client may only have one of each type of major home modification supplied by DHS in a 5 year period. Any modifications needed due to a change of residence in that period of time, will be the client’s responsibility.
  • Rental properties will only be modified where there is a long-term tenancy agreement (5 years or longer) and with the written agreement of the property owner.
  • The residence will not be modified if the need for an accessible home due to a disability/functional limitation was known prior to purchase or rental and reasonable consideration was not given to selecting an appropriate home.
  • The residence will not be modified if relocating to a more accessible residence is a viable option.
  • Major structural/ building changes such as the construction of a new room will not be provided
  • Funding for features in a new home that is under construction will not be provided.
  • Existing structures that are in poor condition prior to commencement of the modification will need to be made good at the client’s expense prior to the modification work starting.
  • Where two or more clients reside in the same home, home modifications will be prescribed to meet the highest need.

Eligibility Criteria:

DHS will provide home modifications to enable the client to remain living at home when:

  1. Safety: the provision of the home modifications will minimise the risk of serious injury to client, carer or service provider OR
  2. Independence/function: the client, with or without a carer, is compromised when completing tasks of daily living** (see Tasks of Daily Living refers to below) without the provision of the equipment item OR
  3. The need for services: the need for provision of or additional carer/community support services (e.g. personal care/shopping assist) is avoided or substantially reduced by the provision of the home modification OR
  4. Potential for functional gain: provision of the home modification will facilitate the person to make improvements in their functional capacity OR
  5. Prevention of deterioration: provision of the home modification will reduce progression of functional and/or postural deterioration OR
  6. The risk of hospitalisation/residential care: immediate risk of admission to hospital or residential care would be avoided by provision of the home modification OR
  7. The need for timely discharge from acute care services, transition care programs and rehabilitation programs: provision of the home modification will allow discharge home or from these programs


All other methods/equipment/intervention and treatment options have been considered and/or trialled with client/carer and provision of the home modification is the most appropriate and cost effective option. Home modifications will be provided with the most clinically appropriate and cost effective features to meet the client’s needs.

*Major Home Modifications refers to: See “Home Modifications In Scope List” for items where Major Mod Criteria apply.

**Tasks of Daily Living refers to: eating, dressing and grooming, preparing meals, mobility within the home and the community, bathing, toileting (including continence management), transfers and bed mobility, seating and postural needs (including night time posture) and core communication. This does not include transport or medication management.


Last updated:15 Dec 2020 11:19am
Provided by:
Department of Human Services
Last Updated:
27 Mar 2018
Printed on:
29 Sep 2023
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