- My NDIS pathway
- New pathway experience
- New Provider Toolkit explained
- Transitioning from the NDIS
- Understanding your plan and supports
- Using the participant portal
- Self-managing your NDIS funding
- In-kind supports
- Finding and engaging providers
- What are reasonable and necessary supports?
- Assistive Technology
- Translation and Interpreter Service
Hearing supports under the NDIS
NDIS participants with a permanent hearing impairment may receive funding for assistive technology (AT) in their NDIS plan in addition to receiving hearing devices under the Commonwealth Government's Hearing Services Program (external) (HSP). Hearing devices provided under the HSP are fully subsidised, meaning there is no cost.
As an NDIS participant also accessing support through the HSP, you have the option of entering into a maintenance agreement with your hearing provider which covers the maintenance of your hearing device and the cost of batteries. The annual fee for the maintenance agreement would be funded in your NDIS plan.
All requests for AT supports are considered on an individual basis and may be funded under the NDIS where the support is considered "reasonable and necessary" for the participant. Examples of AT supports include specialised alerting systems (vibrating/ flash smoke alarm), wireless streaming devices (for the TV, phone or remote microphone), remote controls, Cochlear Implant speech processor accessories (including aqua accessories) and speech processor upgrades.
Under the HSP, participants receive high-quality hearing services and devices at no cost. The HSP has two components, one is called the Community Service Obligation (CSO) and the other is the Voucher Program. Until mid-2020, the usual arrangements for the CSO and Voucher components of the HSP will also apply to NDIS participants.
The CSO component of the HSP funds fully subsidised hearing services and devices to:
- NDIS participants under 26 years of age with a hearing impairment;
- NDIS participants 26 years of age and over who have complex communication needs such as a profound (>90 decibels) hearing impairment, significant visual impairment in addition to a hearing impairment or other disabilities that heighten communication difficulties; this is also referred to as Specialist Hearing Services. (external)
Australian Hearing is the sole provider for hearing services under the CSO component of the HSP.
The Voucher Program component of the HSP funds fully subsidised hearing services and devices to:
- NDIS participants 21 years of age and over. If you are a young adult aged 21 to 25 years (inclusive) you may choose to receive services through either the CSO or Voucher program.
Participants can choose their provider of supports under the Voucher Program of the HSP. There are around 280 contracted service providers (external) to choose from. Contracted service providers are not required to be registered with the NDIA to deliver services under the Voucher component of the HSP.
If you are an NDIS participant under 26 years of age, have a diagnosed permanent hearing impairment and not already receiving hearing services from Australian Hearing, your Local Area Coordinator (LAC), Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) Partner or National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) planner can refer you to Australian Hearing (external).
If you are 26 years and over, you will need to apply for the HSP Voucher Program. Complete the NDIS HSP application form (external) and have it signed by your doctor. Your LAC or NDIA planner will then submit the completed form including their details to email@example.com.
You will then receive a voucher and welcome pack from the HSP, which is valid for three years. You can use this voucher to receive fully subsidised hearing services and devices from contracted service providers (external) under the HSP.
If you are an NDIS participant 26 years of age and over with complex communication needs, you may be eligible to receive Specialist Hearing Services (external). Your LAC or NDIA planner can refer you to Specialist Hearing Services at Australian Hearing.
Under the HSP, fully subsidised hearing aids must meet, and often exceed the performance and technical requirements prescribed by the program which are designed to help appropriately manage the effects of most people's hearing loss". Therefore, all hearing devices funded under the HSP are of a high-quality.
If you are eligible for the CSO component of the HSP, you will be able to access a broad range of high-quality hearing devices (including hearing aids), at no cost. You may also be eligible to receive devices in addition to hearing aids, for example a remote microphone system, to make the most of your hearing ability. These devices are all provided fully subsidised under the HSP and funding does not need to be included in your NDIS plan. Speech processor maintenance and repairs are also funded under the CSO component of the HSP if you have a Cochlear Implant. NDIS participants under 26 years of age may be eligible to receive speech processor upgrades from Australian Hearing if they meet the speech processor upgrade criteria (external).
If you are eligible for the HSP Voucher Program, you will also be able to access a high-quality hearing device (i.e. hearing aid) at no cost. You can access a wide range of fully subsidised hearing devices which have been recommended by your hearing provider, and are designed to help appropriately manage the effects of your hearing impairment.
On occasion, a partially subsidised hearing device may be recommended by your hearing provider, as it has additional features that may enhance your individual lifestyle choice. In most cases, the fully subsidised hearing devices provided under the HSP are considered to be "the minimum necessary or standard level of support required" as described in the NDIS Operational Guidelines (Planning) 10.5. The NDIA will consider if the gap in funding for "partially subsidised" hearing devices should be funded in your NDIS plan. This will depend on your individual circumstances, information received from your hearing services provider, and whether it is considered "reasonable and necessary".