Services available under the program
Hearing services are available through hearing service providers. Use our directory to find a provider near you.
Services you can get include:
- Hearing assessments – find out whether you have a hearing issue and what management options are available. Learn more about hearing assessments
- Device fitting – have a hearing device properly fitted
- Follow-up appointments – check that everything is working as it should
- Maintenance agreements – manage the costs of looking after your hearing device
- Extra rehabilitation – find out whether you can get extra support
- Specialist hearing services – find out whether you can access specialist hearing services under the Community Service Obligations (CSO)
- Annual reviews – have your hearing needs reviewed once a year.
Fitting your device
Your provider will:
- adjust your hearing device for your hearing loss and the shape of your ear
- make sure the device is comfortable to wear
- adjust the sound to the right volume
- show you how to control the device, place it in your ear, clean it and change the batteries (if required)
- explain how to get used to wearing your device, as it can take time to adjust
- offer you an annual maintenance agreement, where you can access batteries, repairs and services for a small annual contribution.
Your provider will book a follow up appointment to:
- make sure your device fitting and settings are comfortable, and make any adjustments
- check whether your device is meeting your hearing goals and expectations, and you are satisfied with it
- review your device management
- answer any questions you might have.
You can make further follow-up appointments if you need help with adjusting or taking care of your device.
You can then have an annual review to make sure your hearing device remains appropriate for the level of hearing loss you experience. This includes clients with a hearing aid or those with an assistive listening device.
If you decide you don’t want to wear your hearing device or find it is not suitable for you, you must return it within the specified 'trial or returns period' noted on the device quote from your provider.
The cost of maintaining hearing devices can add up. Maintenance agreements are an easy and cost-effective way to take care of your hearing device.
If you choose a maintenance agreement, you pay an annual fee and the program pays the provider a subsidy.
Your provider will supply you with batteries throughout the term of your agreement, and will service and repair your hearing device. This includes major repairs or part replacements, such as:
- cleaning, renewing and repairing your ear mould
- cleaning your hearing aid
- replacing the thin tube, dome, wax guards, cords, earphone, microphone or ear hook
- checking your battery compartment and door.
If you can’t go to your provider, check whether they offer a postal option for sending batteries and parts.
A maintenance agreement is much cheaper than paying for services and equipment yourself. The annual fee can be higher for partially subsidised devices than for fully subsidised devices.
If you have a fully subsidised device, the annual fee is about $50 (indexed annually). If you have a partially subsidised device, your provider can set a higher fee, which is negotiated between you and your provider.
Speak to your service provider about the cost and conditions of entering into a maintenance agreement. You will be asked to provide consent so that you understand what is available.
Your maintenance agreement will remain valid until its expiration date, even if you:
- lose eligibility for the program – but then you will not be able to renew it
- transfer to another provider – your agreement will transfer with you. After it expires, you can enter into a new agreement with your new provider.
If you have a Gold Care or White Card (for hearing loss), the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) will automatically pay the cost of your maintenance agreement if you have a hearing device fitted, and have a follow-up appointment.
This only applies if you choose a fully subsidised device. If you choose a partially subsidised device, the DVA will pay only part of your maintenance agreement and you will pay the gap.
Your provider will claim this – you don’t need to apply.
National Disability Insurance Scheme participants
You can include the annual maintenance fee for your hearing devices in your NDIS plan, if your planner assesses it as being reasonable and necessary.
You might be eligible for extra rehabilitation support if you were:
- fitted with a fully subsidised hearing device for the first time
- not fitted with a hearing device, but might benefit from rehabilitation support (such as hearing and communication tactics).
Rehabilitation can help you develop ways to work through situations where you struggle to hear.
Your provider will work with you to develop an individual plan, which can include either:
- 2 group appointments where you can talk to others with hearing loss
- a one-on-one appointment with a hearing service provider.
Your family or friends can also be involved, to find out what they can do to help you hear.
If you have a complaint about your current provider that you can’t resolve directly with them, please email us with the details.
You can change to another program provider at any time.
Read our full complaints policy.
Find more information in:
- client rights and responsibilities
- client information booklet
- the Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights.