CLARITY HEARING SOLUTIONS
One of the best things about the National Disability Insurance Scheme is that it provides funding options for people who before were not eligible for government assistance for hearing health.
Prior to the NDIS there was only government funding for hearing assessment, hearing aids and rehabilitation for those with a pension concession card or a DVA white (hearing) or gold card recipients.
However, navigating the NDIS system has not been an easy task. We have spent months wading through the process and procedures of the NDIS so we can make it easier for you to get access to the NDIS.
Who is eligible for the NDIS?
Firstly, there is general eligibility. Most citizens or permanent residents between the age of 26–64 may be eligible if their disability satisfies the NDIS criteria. That criteria says that if your disability is likely to be permanent and significant you can receive funding from the NDIS.
There is also a component of the NDIS targeted at early intervention for children under 7 years of age.
The second part to eligibility, when talking about hearing loss, relates to the severity of the hearing loss.
Currently there is no set specific limit for hearing loss but generally, if your hearing test determines (and here comes the techno-babble) that you have a hearing loss of 40db HL 4 frequency average in the better ear you may be eligible
This is considered a moderate hearing loss and you would most likely need hearing aids to understand normal speech or rely on speech reading cues.
What help can I get?
The key wording for the NDIS is that they will fund reasonable and necessary supports to help you reach your goals and aspirations, and take part in activities to increase your social and economic participation.
For hearing loss, this means assessments and hearing rehabilitation. This may include hearing aids and what’s called assistive listening devices or ALDs.
ALDs include items like:
• Alert systems e.g. baby cry, smoke alarm, doorbell
• Bluetooth accessories
• Remote controls
• TV streamers
• FM systems
• Remote Microphones
How do you apply for the NDIS?
Clarity has developed a step-by-step guide for accessing the NDIS for hearing loss. The full guide is available from our website but the process consists of six steps:
1. Check that you meet the initial eligibility criteria for the NDIS. If you are eligible contact the NDIA for an Access Request Form on 1800 800 110.
2. Obtain evidence of your hearing loss. You will need a hearing test from your audiologist.
3. Apply for NDIS access using the Access Request Form.
4. Develop your plan. If access is approved an NDIS planner will contact you to help establish your first personalised NDIS plan.
5. Apply for access to the OHS Program using the OHS Application for NDIS Participants and ensuring you include the required documentation.
6. Make an appointment with your audiologist once you have your plan approved and access to the OHS granted.
Now is the time to act on hearing loss
While not every Australian will be covered by the NDIS, hearing health support is now available to a much greater number in the population. If you, or someone you know is struggling with hearing loss, now is the time to address the disorder for good.