Communication aids - Frequently Asked Questions

  • MASS provides access to subsidy funding for the provision of MASS endorsed aids and equipment to eligible Queensland residents with permanent and stabilised conditions or disabilities.

    The range of MASS aids and equipment is selected to assist people to live at home and avoid premature or inappropriate residential care or hospitalisation.

  • Yes, MASS provides assistance towards communication aids to allow eligible people to communicate within their own home.

  • MASS provides subsidised assistance towards artificial larynges, speech generating devices, voice amplification devices, iPads with augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) and communication software.
    MASS does not provide subsidy funding for desktop computers, voice prostheses, low tech communication aids or software for the sole purpose of producing AAC resources e.g. Boardmaker.

  • MASS provides subsidised assistance towards approved accessories for communication aids such as charger, carry case, moisture guards, keyguards, basic accessing devices/switches.

    MASS will also provide subsidy funding for specialised accessories that are required to access a speech generating device, or iPad with AAC app, such as mounting systems, head operated accessing devices and joysticks. An occupational therapist must be involved in the trial process and clinical justification provided in the relevant section of the application form.

    • You may be eligible for assistance if you are a permanent resident of Queensland, have a permanent and stabilised condition or disability and hold a pensioner concession card, health care card or Queensland Government Seniors Card in your own right.
    • You will also need to meet the MASS clinical eligibility criteria for communication aids.
    • You will not be eligible for MASS if you are able to access another government funded program e.g. National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
    • Your speech pathologist can advise whether you are eligible to apply for MASS subsidised assistance for communication aids.
    • For further information on MASS eligibility, please refer to the MASS General Guidelines (PDF 428 kB).
    • To apply for MASS subsidised communication aids, you must be clinically assessed by a speech pathologist who can apply to MASS on your behalf.
    • Your speech pathologist will assist you in trialling a range of devices and can apply to MASS for the most appropriate device for your needs and circumstances.
    • If you require specialised wheelchair or switch mounting systems, or specialised switches/accessing devices in order to access a speech generating device or iPad with AAC, you must be clinically assessed by an occupational therapist.
    • There may be costs involved with trialling some devices.
  • MASS contributes a subsidy amount towards the communication aid and you will be required to contribute the balance of the cost of the communication aid above the MASS subsidy. Your payment is made direct to the supplier. In some cases, the MASS subsidy may cover the total cost of the communication aid.

  • MASS-eApply (online applications)
    MASS-eApply is the preferred method of application submission.

    Paper Based Applications

    • Part A of the MASS 21 application form (PDF 1209 kB) is common to applications for all communication aids. In addition, your prescribing speech pathologist will complete one of four appendices depending on the aid being requested.
    • The MASS 21 application form (PDF 1209 kB) and relevant appendix needs to be submitted to MASS along with a photocopy of both sides of your eligibility/concession card.
    • An itemised quotation for the cost of the device for which you are applying may also need to be submitted with your application.
    • You need to complete Part A – Applicant Details, of the MASS 21 application form (PDF 1209 kB).
    • Your prescribing speech pathologist needs to complete one of the four MASS 21 appendix forms, depending on the type of communication aid you are applying for.
    • An occupational therapist needs to complete the appropriate section of the MASS appendix form, if you require subsidy funding towards a wheelchair or switch mounting system, or specialised switch/accessing device for a speech generating device or iPad with AAC.
    • If your application is complete and MASS requires no further information from you or your prescriber, you will receive a letter advising you of the outcome within a few weeks of submitting your application to MASS.
    • If approved and you are required to pay a contribution towards the cost of the aid, the letter will also have attached to it a statutory declaration which you need to sign and return to MASS as soon as possible.
    • The signed statutory declaration indicates your legal intention to pay the supplier the amount of the client co-contribution.
  • MASS will send a purchase order to the supplier of the communication aid as soon as the application is approved or the signed statutory declaration is received by MASS from you.

    • Delivery times can vary depending on whether the item is held in stock.
    • You may contact the supplier for an approximate delivery time.
    • When ready, the supplier will send the communication device directly to your speech pathologist prescriber for adjustment and programming. Your speech pathologist prescriber will contact you when the device is ready to be supplied.
    • If you have an artificial larynx or a basic/specialised accessory for a communication aid, MASS owns the device and has provided it to you on permanent loan.
    • If you have a speech generating device, at the time of application you may be offered the choice of either owning the device yourself or MASS retaining ownership of the device.
    • If you have a voice amplification device, iPad with AAC or communication software, MASS has deemed ownership to you.
  • Contact your speech pathologist as soon as possible if the communication device is unsuitable for any reason.

    • If MASS owns the device and has provided it to you on permanent loan, then MASS will be responsible for all reasonable repairs to the device. However, this does not apply to accidental damage, loss or neglect of an aid.
    • If the device is owned by you, then you are responsible for repairing and maintaining the device.
    • MASS provides all new clients of artificial larynges, speech generating devices and voice amplification devices with maintenance and care information to assist them with their care responsibilities.
    • The manufacturer and/or supplier of your communication aid should also provide you with information instructing you on how to care for the device.
  • You should contact MASS immediately whenever your communication aid needs repair.

    MASS will not fund any repairs to your MASS subsidised communication aid for which prior approval has not been obtained.

  • It is strongly recommended that you maintain a low-tech communication system as a foundation and a back-up for your MASS subsidised communication aid (high-tech system). There are many situations where a low-tech communication system is a more effective and/or appropriate option to use, for instance, in areas where the high-tech system may be damaged, such as around swimming pools, etc. It is also important to maintain the low-tech communication system for when the high-tech system is not available (e.g. when it is being charged or repaired).

  • MASS expects that your communication aid will last a minimum of five (5) years. You should not need to replace the device within this time unless your condition changes and you need a different device.

  • If MASS owns the device, it must be returned to MASS when it is replaced or no longer required. MASS can then reallocate the device to someone else in need.

  • If your condition changes for any reason, you must consult your speech pathologist as your communication needs may also have changed.

  • For further information, consult your speech pathologist.

Last updated: 30 March 2023