Free Hearing Services for Young Australians from 1 January
Young adults aged 21 to 26 will soon be eligible for free hearing services, including hearing aids and cochlear speech processor upgrades provided through Australian Hearing.
View by date:Previous Ministers
The Hon Mark Butler MP21 December 2011
Minister for Mental Health and Ageing
Minister for Social Inclusion
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Mental Health Reform
The Hon Brendan O'Connor MP
Minister for Human Services
Minister Assisting for School Education
Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, Mark Butler, said that from 1 January, young Australians will be eligible for comprehensive range of largely free hearing services, such as rehabilitation and hearing devices, until they turn 26 years old. Previously they became ineligible at 21.
“At age 21, most young Australians are still finishing study or establishing themselves in their careers. It’s important that young adults living with hearing impairment are afforded the same opportunities to engage socially and economically in our community,” Mr Butler said.
“By extending the age to which eligible young adults can access services we can make a big difference to their lives – they will now be able to continue to get support while they finish study and establish themselves in careers.”
It is estimated that by 2015-16, more than 2,000 young adults will be receiving at least one service each year as a result of these changes.
Minister for Human Services, Brendan O’Connor, said the Gillard Labor Government committed an additional $47.7 million over four years from 2011-12 to improve access to services for hearing impaired Australians including the extension of services to young adults.
“Hearing impairment is estimated to affect one in six people, rising to one in four in 2050, making hearing health a significant issue for the Australian community,” Mr O’Connor said.
“We recognise that hearing impairment affects people across all ages – from early childhood to late adulthood. I’m pleased that the Government has been able to provide additional support for Australians with a hearing impairment, and particularly for young adults seeking to establish an independent and productive adult life.”
To be eligible to access hearing services as part of these changes, young adults must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident, have not yet turned 26 years of age, and have a confirmed hearing loss.
For more information: Australian Hearing website.
Minister Butler’s Office 02 6277 7280
Maria Hawthorne, 0407 015 986 (O’Connor)
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