Hearing Supports In Australia Are Changing | Leap in!
01 Jul

Hearing supports in Australia are changing.

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If you are deaf or have a hearing impairment, a new approach is designed to make it easier to access the essential services and supports you need.

Starting in July, the program that will deliver your services and supports may change depending on your age and circumstances.

It’s a little bit complicated so let’s break it down…

Hearing supports programs.

The two main programs that deliver hearing supports in Australia are the Hearing Services Program (HSP) and the NDIS.

While the programs have different roles, from 1 July they will work together to ensure high quality hearing services are available to people of all ages.

Hearing Services Program (HSP).

The HSP funds hearing supports for Australian citizens and permanent residents, including children and young people under 26 through an organisation called Hearing Australia. Some people will continue to be supported over 26 years if they meet a specific criteria.

Services and supports may include:

  • Hearing assessments
  • Subsidised hearing aids and devices
  • Advice on getting the most from your device
  • Annual device maintenance.

NDIS hearing supports.

The NDIS funds hearing supports for eligible NDIS participants aged 26 and over who are not eligible for the HSP. It also funds additional reasonable and necessary supports that are not available through the HSP for eligible participants of any age.

Services and supports may include:

  • Devices such as hearing aids and cochlear implant speech processor accessories
  • Other assistive technology such as vibrating smoke alarms and remote controls
  • Capacity Building supports such as learning Auslan
  • Maintenance and repairs
  • Assessments (other than diagnostic assessments).

Hearing supports in Australia are changing

Hearing supports by age from 1 July.

Age: Under 7.

Most hearing-related supports for children are funded by the HSP, including testing and fitting of hearing devices. The HSP also assists you to apply for the NDIS which may fund additional early intervention supports and other assistive technology not covered by the HSP.

Age: 7-25.

The HSP will fund hearing services for people who meet the eligibility criteria. If you’re also eligible for the NDIS, it may fund additional reasonable and necessary supports not available through the HSP.

Age: 26 and over.

If you’re eligible for the HSP
The HSP will fund hearing services such as those outlined above. The NDIS funds additional reasonable and necessary supports not available through the HSP.

If you’re not eligible for the HSP
The NDIS will fund reasonable and necessary hearing supports providing you meet NDIS eligibility criteria.

Age: 65 and over.

If you’re an existing NDIS participant
Your hearing supports will be funded by the HSP providing you meet the eligibility criteria. If you decide to remain with the NDIS, you can access additional reasonable and necessary hearing supports not available through the HSP.

If you’re not an existing NDIS participant
You’ll access hearing supports from the HSP if you are eligible.

Good to know.

  • You can access both programs at the same time
  • The supports provided from each program must be different
  • If you are a current NDIS participant and receive supports from the HSP, your arrangements will stay the same until your next NDIS Plan Review
  • If you have an existing voucher from the HSP program, it will remain valid until it expires or until equivalent services are provided by the NDIS.

Leap in! can help.

While the changes are a little complicated, the Leap in! Crew are here to answer your NDIS-related hearing supports questions.

Get in touch via TTY/Voice call on 133 677, speak and listen on 1300 555 727, phone 1300 05 78 78 or email us at connect@leapin.com.au.

Further reading

What is assistive technology?

What is “reasonable & necessary”?

Questions we get asked the most about assistive technology.

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