Australian Government - Department of Health - Office of Hearing Services
Hearing Services Program

Information on the NDIS and hearing services

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is administered by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) and supports people who have a permanent and significant disability to receive support to live a better life. If you are an NDIS participant and require assistance with your hearing, the NDIA will refer you to the Australian Government Hearing Services Program (the program).

The Department of Health is responsible for managing and administering the program which provides eligible people with access to a range of fully subsidised hearing devices and services. The Department contracts approximately 280 service providers to deliver these hearing services across more than 3000 sites nationwide.

Accessing the NDIS

To join the NDIS you will need to meet the age, residency and either the disability or early intervention requirements.

Age requirements

You will meet the age requirements if you provide the NDIA with evidence you are under 65 years of age, at the time you apply for the NDIS.

Residence requirements

You will meet the residence requirements if you provide the NDIA with evidence you

  • live in Australia, and
  • are either an Australian Citizen, holder of a permanent visa or a special category visa (SCV) holder who is a protected SCV holder, and
  • if you live in Western Australia, meet any additional residence phasing requirements.

Disability requirements

If you have an average hearing loss that is moderately-severe (65 decibels or more) in your better ear, you may meet the eligibility criteria for the NDIS.

If your hearing loss is below this average, but you have other permanent impairments (for example vision or cognitive impairments), or significant difficulty with understanding speech, you may also be eligible for the NDIS.

Early Intervention requirements

Children and young adults (0-25 years of age) may meet the early intervention requirements if you or your child has auditory neuropathy or a permanent hearing loss in either ear (25 decibels or more at 2 or more adjacent frequencies). Please visit the NDIA website for more information on early intervention.

Applying for the NDIS

To apply for the NDIS you will need to complete an Access Request form, which can be requested by

  • Phoning the NDIA on 1800 800 110, or the NDIA teletypewriter (TTY) service on 1800 555 677
  • Phoning the National Relay Service, 1800 555 727
  • Telephone Interpreting Service, 131 450
  • Completing an online contact form
  • Emailing NAT@ndis.gov.au
  • Visiting a local office, or
  • Posting a letter to the National Disability Insurance Agency, GPO Box 700, Canberra ACT 2601.

Required evidence

To support your access request, you will need to provide the NDIA with evidence of your age, residence and disability. Evidence of your hearing loss will include

  • your latest hearing test results (audiogram), or
  • if your hearing loss is below the requirement, an audiogram and a report from your audiologist.

Once the NDIA have all the necessary information and evidence, they will notify you about your eligibility for the NDIS.

Accessing the Hearing Services Program

Under 26 years of age

If the NDIA identifies that you or your child need hearing services, you will be referred directly to Hearing Australia - the sole provider of specialist hearing services to children and young adults under the program.

NDIS participants aged between 21 and 26 years of age can choose to receive their services from either Hearing Australia or through any other contracted service provider.

21 to 65 years of age

New to the program

If the NDIA identifies that you need hearing services, they will refer you to the program by completing the Hearing Services application form. You will need to get your medical practitioner (or GP) to complete the medical certificate section. Your NDIS planner is responsible for emailing the completed form to hearing@health.gov.au using their official NDIS email address.

Once your NDIS Planner has submitted the completed Hearing Services application form, you will be sent a welcome pack. Please read your welcome pack and make an appointment with one of the contracted service providers in your local area.

Already a client of the program

If you are already a client of the program, you will still need to complete the Hearing Services application form and your NDIS planner will submit the completed form to hearing@health.gov.au. You do not need to complete the medical certificate section.

Will I have any out-of-pocket expenses?

There is a wide range of fully subsidised hearing devices available under the program, made by leading manufacturers. These hearing devices are provided at no cost to you and contain a range of beneficial features to help you manage your hearing loss. Fully subsidised devices must meet, and often exceed, the performance and technical requirements prescribed by the program.

The annual maintenance fee for your hearing devices will be included as part of your NDIS plan, where your planner has assessed this as being reasonable and necessary.

Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) gold or white cardholders are excluded from paying any maintenance costs, as DVA will pay this on your behalf.

Partially subsidised hearing devices

Your hearing practitioner may recommend a partially subsided hearing device, which has extra technological features to suit certain lifestyles. In exceptional circumstances, the NDIA may consider paying the gap for partially subsidised hearing devices if they are reasonable and necessary.

If the payment for the device and its ongoing maintenance is not approved by the NDIS, you may choose to pay for the device yourself.

Your hearing practitioner will be able to discuss these options with you in more detail.

The program’s client information booklet and consumer guidance factsheet can also help you to make an informed choice about your hearing services.

What happens after the NDIS roll out is completed in mid-2020?

The program will continue to fund hearing services for NDIS participants until 30 June 2020. After 30 June 2020, NDIS participants in the program will have their hearing services funded through the NDIS (not the program) and will need to see a hearing service provider who has registered with the NDIS. The program will continue to provide services to eligible clients who are not NDIS participants.

Further Information

For more information about the NDIS, please visit Hearing Supports or contact the NDIA directly.

 

Information on the NDIS and hearing services (PDF 233 KB)

Medical Certificate

Client Information Booklet

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