The future of hearing services

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The future of hearing services in Australia is assured thanks to an approach adopted by the NDIS and the Hearing Services Program (HSP) .

The NDIS and the HSP will have different roles. But they will work together to ensure that high quality hearing services continue to be available to people of all ages.

The new approach will apply from 1 July 2020.

Hearing Services Program

  • The HSP funds hearing services for Australian citizens and permanent residents, including children and young people under 26, who satisfy its eligibility criteria
  • Hearing Australia will continue to be the sole provider of HSP services for eligible children and young people under 26. This ensures that quality safeguards remain in place for this age group.

NDIS

  • The NDIS will fund all reasonable and necessary hearing services for participants aged 26 and over who are not able to access the HSP. 
  • The NDIS will also continue to fund additional reasonable and necessary hearing supports where they are not available to participants via the HSP, including for people under 26.
  • The NDIS will also help participants connect with the HSP. 

For participants

People who are deaf or hard of hearing in Australia will continue to have access to world-leading hearing supports and services. For many NDIS participants, there will be no change to current arrangements. 

Participants who are eligible for the HSP

You may be eligible for the HSP if you are under 26 or meet other criteria .

The HSP will continue to fund hearing services for participants in this group. 

The NDIS may also fund other hearing supports that are not available through the HSP.

Some participants in this group may have interim support items in their NDIS plans. These were included to ensure that they would be able to pay for hearing supports from 1 July 2020. These interim supports are no longer required, as these participants will continue to receive their hearing services from the HSP while they are eligible.  

Participants aged 26 and over who are not eligible for the HSP

The NDIS will now fund all reasonable and necessary hearing supports for participants in this group. 

Their Local Area Coordinator or planner will discuss adding NDIS-funded hearing supports to their plan during their next scheduled review.

Some participants in this group may have a HSP voucher. It will remain valid until it expires, or until the participant’s plan includes services equivalent to those delivered through the HSP. While their vouchers remains valid, these participants will continue to receive their primary hearing services from the HSP. In these cases, the NDIS may fund reasonable and necessary hearing supports that are not available to participants through the HSP. Once their voucher expires, funding for all reasonable and necessary hearing services will be included in their NDIS plan. 

For providers

There are a number of opportunities for hearing providers under the NDIS:

  • Providers will have a new opportunity to offer all reasonable and necessary hearing supports to NDIS participants who are aged 26 and over and who do not qualify for the HSP. 
  • Providers will continue to be able to offer reasonable and necessary disability related supports to a range of age groups, including people under 26 years old, where they are not available to the participant through the HSP.
  • HSP contracted providers will also have the chance to offer their services to NDIS participants who retain their HSP vouchers until they expire.

We have updated the NDIS Support Catalogue to support these changes. The new prices will apply from 1 July 2020.

Participants will have greater choice of provider. So we are encouraging potential providers to register with the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission (NDIS Commission). 

Providers in Western Australia seeking to register before 1 December 2020 need to register with the NDIA instead of the NDIS Commission.

Visit our Hearing supports page to find out more about the new approach to hearing services.