Eligibility for the Hearing Services Program

The Hearing Services Program has 2 components with different eligibility requirements. Find out who can access the program and where to get support if you’re not eligible.

Check your eligibility or current voucher

Use our eligibility checker to see whether:

  • you’re eligible for subsidised hearing services and devices
  • your existing voucher is still current and who your last provider was.

Check your eligibility

Voucher scheme eligibility

You are eligible for the voucher scheme if you are an Australian citizen or permanent resident or live on Norfolk Island, are aged 21 years or older, and are:

A Commonwealth Seniors Health Card does not provide eligibility for the program.

An incarcerated person must have a valid voucher issued prior to incarceration to be eligible for the program. Vouchers are valid for 5 years from the date of issue. Vouchers are not issued to people in incarceration. Access to services will need to be negotiated between the correctional facility and the service provider.

Learn about the process of getting hearing support under the voucher scheme.

Community Service Obligations (CSO) eligibility

Hearing Australia provides services under the program’s CSO.

You are eligible for CSO if you are an Australian citizen or permanent resident or live on Norfolk Island, and you are either:

  • aged under 26 years
  • Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander and either:
    • aged 50 years or over
    • take part in the Community Development Program (formerly known as the Remote Jobs and Communities Program and the Community Development Employment Projects Program)
    • took part in the Community Development Employment Projects Program from 30 June 2013 and received hearing services from Hearing Australia before you stopped participating
  • eligible for the voucher scheme and either:

Incarcerated people are still eligible for CSO services. Access to services will need to be negotiated between the correctional facility and Hearing Australia.

Specialist hearing services

Under CSO, some examples that define ‘requiring specialist hearing services’ include if you:

  • have a 3-frequency average hearing loss of 80 dB or more in both ears
  • have hearing loss and severe communication impairment that:
    • prevents you from communicating effectively
    • is caused or aggravated by significant physical, intellectual, mental, emotional or social disability.

People eligible for CSO due to hearing loss and severe communication impairment include those who have:

  • cochlear implant
  • an implantable bone conduction device and are unable to wear an air conduction device
  • a score of 50% or less auditory alone on an open set sentence speech test when optimally aided
  • a cognitive impairment, such as dementia, where it is difficult to complete a hearing assessment or you cannot manage your hearing loss or goals
  • a visual impairment that significantly limits the ability to access visual cues
  • an intellectual impairment that makes it difficult to complete hearing assessment or hearing aid fitting
  • mental health issues affecting the client’s ability to manage their hearing loss.

Learn about the process of getting specialist hearing support under the CSO.

Eligibility for both

If you are eligible for both the voucher scheme and CSO, you can choose to receive services under either component.

If you are eligible for specialist services, but choose to stay with your current provider , you won’t receive extra CSO services.

Talk to your hearing provider or contact us for more information.

National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participants

If you are a NDIS participant and meet the eligibility requirements for the Hearing Services Program, you:

  • can access hearing support through the Hearing Services Program (not the NDIS)
  • might be able to access additional supports not provided by the program through the NDIS, such as complementary technology, payment of your maintenance agreement and other services.

Veterans

If you are a veteran eligible for Hearing Services Program services and devices, you can access additional hearing support from the DVA, including:

  • assistive listening devices
  • tinnitus treatment.

Your provider will seek approval from the DVA on your behalf.

Norfolk Island residents

If you live on Norfolk Island and meet the eligibility requirements, you can access the Hearing Services Program through Hearing Australia.

Other hearing support options

If you’re not eligible for either the voucher scheme or the CSO, there are other ways to access hearing services.

National Disability Insurance Scheme

If you are an NDIS participant and are not eligible for Hearing Services Program services and support, your NDIS plan might provide for hearing support, if your planner assesses it as being reasonable and necessary.

Veterans

If you are a veteran and aren’t eligible for the Hearing Services Program, you might have access to DVA hearing support.

Home care

If you have a Home Care Package and are not eligible for the Hearing Services Program, you may be able to receive support through your package.

Hearing aid banks

Most states and territories have hearing aid banks that provide reconditioned hearing devices. Hearing aid banks have their own eligibility criteria, but usually they provide hearing aids to people who:

  • don’t qualify for the program
  • can’t afford a hearing aid.

Hearing aid banks include:

Private health insurance

If you have private health insurance, your policy might offer rebates for hearing services and devices provided by a private audiologist or audiometrists.

Telephone support

If your hearing loss affects your ability to use a standard telephone handset you may:

Finding support

See a list of organisations that provide information and support.

Read more about what to do if you disagree with a decision finding you ineligible.

Related information

Read more about:

Contact

Hearing Services Program contact

Contact us for information about the Hearing Services Program.
Program contact
National Relay Service
Date last updated:

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