Australian Government Hearing Services Program
The Australian Government recognises the impact that hearing loss can have on the quality of life of Australians. Their Hearing Services Program has been developed and introduced to ensure that all qualifying pensioners and veterans have access to subsidised hearing services, including a hearing test and basic digital hearing aids, free of charge.
HEARINGLife is accredited to provide subsidised hearing services to pensioners and veterans under the Australian Government Hearing Services Program
Who is eligible for Australian Hearing Services Program?
You are eligible to apply for a voucher if you are an Australian citizen or permanent resident, over 21 years of age, meeting one of the following criteria:
- Holder of a Centrelink Pensioner Concession Card
- Gold Health Repatriation Card holder
- White Health Repatriation Card holder (specifying hearing loss)
- Centrelink Sickness Allowance
You may also be eligible if you fall into one of these categories:
- Dependant of a person in one of the listed categories
- Active member of the Defence Force
- Client of CRS Australia (formerly known as Commonwealth Rehabilitation Services) referred by their case manager and attending doctor
What benefits does the scheme provide?
Under this scheme, those who qualify are eligible to receive the following benefits:
- FREE hearing assessments
- FREE hearing rehabilitation
- FREE basic digital hearing aids, or
- SUBSIDISED advanced digital hearing aids
- SUBSIDISED hearing aid maintenance and batteries
How does a patient apply?
Eligible patients can obtain assistance by applying to the Office of Hearing Services for a hearing services voucher – simply complete the Application for a Hearing Services Voucher form found here.
Your GP will need to sign the form before it is sent to the Office of Hearing Services in Canberra. If you qualify, your voucher should arrive in around four weeks.
To find out if you are eligible, call us on 1300 308 125, or visit your local HEARINGLife branch. We always have a supply of forms available and will be happy to help you to complete the form. Search for your nearest hearing clinic.
Information on the Australian Government Hearing Services Program is available in a number of community languages on the Australian Hearing Services web site.
What is “Topping-Up”?
Under the Australian Hearing Services Program, those who qualify will be able to obtain a basic digital hearing aid.
The Program also allows you to contribute to the cost of a more sophisticated and advanced hearing aid. By adding to the costs covered by the Government, you can obtain a hearing aid that can offer you greater benefits.
All hearing aids, including “Top-Up” aids, are GST free. Please ask us for further details.
Not eligible for free hearing aids?
If you don’t qualify under the Australian Hearing Services Program, there are still ways to obtain the very latest hearing aids and offset some of the costs.
For example, you may be able to claim a tax offset of 20% of your net medical expenses – including hearing aids – over $2,120*. There is no upper limit on the amount you can claim; net medical expenses are the eligible medical expenses you’ve paid, less any available refunds from Medicare or a private health insurer.
If you contribute to a private health fund, you should check details of your cover and determine whether you are eligible to claim for hearing aids.
To make paying for hearing aids as easy and convenient as possible, HEARINGLife offer interest-free payment plans. Please ask us for full details.
* 2012-13 Tax Year. For more details, contact the ATO: www.ato.gov.au or 13 28 61