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Hearing Services arrangements from 1 July 2020

03 May, 2020 Ann Porter Parents

The Government has announced its arrangements for NDIS funded hearing services to commence on 1 July 2020.

Before this announcement, advocates were concerned that consumers would not be given adequate time to prepare for changes, should they be introduced. A Government taskforce announced these arrangements after consultations with Deafness Forum, Aussie Deaf Kids, Parents of Deaf Children, UsherKids and other organisations.

CHILDREN 0-26 YEARS

There is no change to the way that infants, children and young adults aged 0 to 26 years access hearing services.  Hearing and communication programs including device fitting and maintenance will be provided through the Community Service Obligations component (CSO) of the Australian Government Hearing Services Program (HSP) with Hearing Australia as the sole provider.

Children will also be able to register as NDIS participants where they can access additional supports such as early intervention services, Auslan language development and technology that is not provided under the HSP.  The child’s NDIS plan will include funding for these additional supports but it will not include funding for the services provided under the HSP.

ADULTS 26-65 YEARS

Adults who are eligible for the Australian Government Hearing Services Program (HSP) will continue to receive their hearing and communication programs including device fitting and maintenance under that Program. If they meet the access requirements for the NDIS they can access additional supports such as technology that is not provided under the HSP through NDIS funding.

Adults aged 26-65 years with hearing loss who are not eligible for the HSP can test their access to the NDIS.  If they meet the access requirements then their NDIS plan will include funding for all of the supports assessed as reasonable and necessary including audiological services, devices and maintenance. 

If a person does not meet the criteria for the HSP or the NDIS, the options for accessing hearing services include the Job Access Program, hearing aid banks or self-funding their hearing services.

ADULTS 65 YEARS AND OVER

Adults 65 years and over who are eligible for the HSP will continue to receive their hearing and communication programs including device fitting and maintenance under that Program.

Adults aged 65 years and over are not eligible to join the NDIS. If the person was a participant prior to the age of 65 years they can continue to receive services as an NDIS participant after turning 65.

If a person does not meet the criteria for the HSP and they were not previously an NDIS participant before turning 65 years, then options for accessing hearing services include the Job Access Program if they are still working, hearing aid banks or self-funding their hearing services.