If you’re beginning to feel as though your hearing has changed, you’re probably right. But you need to pay more attention right now before you’re completely shut out of your world.
Perhaps you’ve been putting it off because you think hearing aids are big and ugly, or you’ve been told they will cost a fortune. You’re not alone. Many Western Australians like you have these misconceptions.
The truth is, hearing aids are now practically invisible and it’s hard to tell when someone is wearing one. Also, you may be eligible to receive a range of FREE hearing assessments and services as well as FREE or heavily subsidised hearing aids under the Australian Government Hearing Services Program.
Would you like to find out whether you’re eligible?
If you want to stay connected, active and involved, now is the time you let us help you. We’re accredited to deliver the hearing services in Western Australia.
About the Hearing Services Program
The Australian Government Hearing Services Program gives eligible clients access to a range of FREE and subsidised hearing services to make them more affordable so clients can improve or manage their hearing loss.
If you’re eligible, you’ll have access to various services, including:
- a comprehensive hearing assessment performed by a hearing services provider
- a wide range of quality hearing devices designed by leading manufacturers
- if you’re fitted with a hearing device, you’ll receive advice on how to achieve maximum benefit from your device
- further support and hearing services, which can be accessed even if fitting a hearing device is not suitable
- access to an optional annual maintenance agreement where, for a small fee, you can receive repairs and batteries to support your hearing device.
But first, let’s check your eligibility.
Check your eligibility
You’re eligible to receive these hearing services if you’re an Australian citizen or permanent resident aged 21 years or older, and you’re:
- a Pensioner Concession Card Holder
- receiving Sickness Allowance from Centrelink
- a holder of a Department of Veteran Affairs Gold Card issued for all conditions
- a holder of a Department of Veteran Affairs White Card issued for specific conditions that include hearing loss
- a dependent of a person in one of the above categories
- a current member of the Australian Defence Force (i.e. the Permanent Navy, the Regular Army, the Permanent Air Force or the Reserves), or
- receiving support through the Disability Management Service under the Australian Government funded Disability Employment Services – and you’re being referred by your case manager.
You’re eligible to receive hearing services through the Community Service Obligations component of the Australian Government Hearing Services Program (Only provided by Australian Hearing) if you’re an Australian citizen or permanent resident and you’re:
- children and young adults (younger than 26 years)
- an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander aged over 50 years
- an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participant in the Remote Jobs and Community Program or
- a former Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participant in a Community Development Employment Projects Program, who received hearing services before 30 June 2013.
You’re also eligible if you’re a National Disability Insurance Scheme participant and your National Disability Insurance Agency Planner is referring you to the Program.
Hearing devices available
Under this program, you can receive either a hearing device or an alternative listening device, but not both.
Hearing devices: If the comprehensive hearing assessment result shows it would be beneficial for you to wear a hearing aid, we’ll help you find the most suitable model that’s fully covered under the program. Otherwise, if you choose one that’s too advanced for your needs you’ll have to pay additional costs for non-essential extras.
We’ll also help you to re-learn new sounds because when the hearing loss developed you may have forgotten certain sounds. With our support you’ll get the hang of your device in no time.
Alternative listening devices: These devices can help you hear better in everyday situations such as when listening to the TV or speaking on the phone. They include wireless headphones, doorbells, smoke alarms, and phones with easy-to-read displays. Again, we can help you choose the right one.
Australian Government Hearing Services Program offers most services and devices at no charge. We’ll help you find a device that’s completely covered under the program. However, if the device you need isn’t available in these free options, we’ll organise this with the Office of Hearing Services.
Additional costs apply in the following situations:
Top-up devices: We’ll offer you a free-to-client device or non-standard device suitable for your hearing needs. But if you choose to pay for a device that you can top up with extras, then you’ll be asked to cover some of the costs. We can also provide a quote which will include all costs such as ongoing maintenance and repairs, before you decide.
Maintenance for free devices: Your hearing device will require service, repairs and batteries. We’ll organise an annual maintenance contract for you with the fee due annually on the same date we would have fitted your device for the first time. The program may contribute separately to these costs. Your first payment is due on your first follow-up visit.
Maintenance for top-up devices: Maintenance will cost more for a top-up device, but we’ll discuss this if you choose not to go with the free option. You may also choose not to pay the annual maintenance fee. However, you’ll pay out of pocket for batteries, servicing and repairs. The costs could exceed the cost of the annual maintenance fee.
Maintenance costs when you’re a veteran: If you’re a Department of Veterans’ Affairs Gold or White Card (for hearing loss) holders, then the Department of Veterans’ Affairs will pay the maintenance fee on free hearing devices. If you choose a top-up device, you’ll need to pay the costs above the standard fee.
Minor maintenance: This excludes major electronic parts and supplying batteries. It includes ear mold cleaning, renewal and repair, and replacing minor parts such as tubing. Should you lose your eligibility for the hearing services program, you’ll continue to receive minor maintenance for a maximum of five years. You don’t have to pay an annual maintenance fee for this.
Replacement fees: In the event that you lose the device, you’ll complete a statutory declaration form that we can send to the Office of Hearing Services on your behalf. If the device is damaged and we’re unable to repair it, we’ll notify the Office so they consider the application for a replacement. There’s a small replacement fee. If you’re a Department of Veterans’ Affairs Gold Card and White Card (for hearing loss) holder and have chosen a free device, you don’t pay this fee.
Repair costs: Devices offered under the program come with at least a 12-month warranty period. If you opt to pay the annual maintenance fee, we will still meet the warranty conditions.
Additional financial assistance: It’s possible that there are Australian Government taxation rebates or components of your private health insurance that cover your personal expenditures for hearing devices. Contact your private health fund for further information. To discuss taxation rebates contact the Personal Tax Info line on 132 861.
I’m eligible — now what?
Call us on (08) 93908811 or visit us at one of our stores. Bring along your eligibility card number (such as your Pensioner Concession Card) so we can verify and confirm your eligibility.
We’ll make the process very quick and easy for you, and we’ll help with your application. Once your doctor has sent through their referral, we’ll make sure you don’t have to wait too long for your free comprehensive hearing assessment with one of our accredited audiologists.
If you have any questions simply contact us
For more information about the Australian Government Hearing Services Program, visit www.hearingservices.gov.au