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Aids For Daily Living (POC 1)

Issuing Authority: Senior Director, Program Policy Directorate
Effective Date: November 12, 2020
Document ID: 1008

Care has been taken to ensure these policies accurately reflect the acts and regulations. Should any inconsistencies be found, the acts and regulations will prevail.

Purpose

This policy provides direction on the nature of aids for daily living as well as general guidelines around eligibility and approval of such aids.

Policy

Eligibility

  1. Clients eligible to receive treatment benefits in accordance with applicable policy, and who have a health-related need, may be eligible to receive aids for daily living. Rehabilitation clients who satisfy the eligibility requirements of the Veterans Well-being Act may also have access to aids for daily living.

General

  1. Aids for daily living are aids or devices designed to assist clients in performing everyday activities of daily living (ADLs). ADLs may be performed by oneself or with the assistance of others.
  2. Aids or devices that may be considered as Aids for Daily living are items that may be, but are not limited to, those that are typically low cost, non-powered, movable or easily movable (e.g. not attached to the house) and require minimal training/instruction prior to independent use.

    Aids for daily living may include, but are not limited to:
    1. ambulation aids, such as canes, crutches and walking poles;
    2. self-help aids for washing, dressing, toileting, oral hygiene, grooming, and self-feeding/eating, such as adapted cutlery, reachers, and sock aids;
    3. bedroom aids, such as transfer aids and contoured pillows; or,
    4. bathroom aids, such as commodes, hand-held showers, and bath chairs.
  3. Aids for daily living may be approved based on information and medical evidence that:
    1. The aid is clinically necessary in order to maintain the client's health; or
    2. The provision of the aid would support the client’s performance of everyday activities of daily living (ADL) to increase, restore, stabilize and/or improve independence, accessibility and/or basic safety; or
    3. The client’s condition and/or general health would be negatively affected in the absence of this particular aid.
  4. Generally, need for an aid for daily living is demonstrated if it is:
    1. of primary benefit to the client; and,
    2. prescribed by a health professional approved by Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) (see Health Professionals policy); or
    3. identified in an approved rehabilitation plan; or
    4. identified in a VAC client plan for a non-rehabilitation client who is case managed.
  5. Aids for daily living are not approved for an enhancement of Quality of Life (e.g., gardening, access to pool, hot tub, backyard), or for sports, recreation, and/or personal lifestyle/leisure activities.
  6. Normally, it should not be necessary to require a prescription for a basic aid such as a cane if it is evident, as a result of assessment of the client’s circumstances and needs, that the aid will increase independence, or restore or stabilize the client’s ability to perform ADLs.

    Additionally, clients do not need to present a prescription in order to be approved for the service or benefit when a need for a service or benefit has been identified and supported in an approved VAC client plan, a health professional assessment or rehabilitation plan. In such cases, the need and legitimacy of the service or benefit would have been confirmed by the decision maker as being appropriate, based on the evidence available.

Approval of Items Not Appearing on Benefit Grids

  1. Aids for daily living that may be approved are normally listed in the benefit grids. Items not listed in the benefit grids may be approved by the Department when both consideration is given to Section 3 of this policy and where there is information and medical evidence that:
        1. The device/accessory would qualify as an aid for daily living; and
        2. There is no other acceptable device/accessory available in this case; or
        3. Other significant factors exist.

    In all cases, it is desirable to have appropriate justification for concluding that the client is a good candidate for the device/accessory being proposed and that the client's health is not expected to be negatively impacted by what is being proposed.

References

Veterans Well-being Act

Veterans Health Care Regulations

Aids for Daily Living (POC 1) Benefit Grid

Health Professionals

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