Hearing and the NDIS
Funding your Audiological Treatment through the National Disability Insurance Scheme
National Disability Insurance Scheme
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIA) started rolling out to the Cairns, Tablelands and Cape and Torres areas from 1 July 2018.
The NDIS will allow any person with a significant hearing loss, irrespective of age, who meet the NDIS eligibility criteria, access to funding for that hearing loss.
Funding is available for people with hearing loss for items like:
- Hearing aids and accessories
- Alert systems e.g. baby cry, smoke alarm, doorbell
- Bluetooth accessories
- Remote controls
- TV streamers
- FM systems
The NDIS is available for people with a significant and permanent hearing loss which impacts communication and participation in every day activities including work, family, community engagement and social interactions.
Who is Eligible for the NDIS?
You are eligible for the NDIS if you:
- are 65 years of age or younger
- are an Australian citizen, resident or permanent VISA holder
- Live in an area where the NDIS is available (From July 1st 2018 for Cairns/Tableland and Cape Torres Regions)
- Meet the disability requirements (hearing loss of 40db HL 4 frequency average in the better ear)
Accessing the NDIS for Hearing Loss
The NDIS has been touted as the biggest social policy change in Australia since the introduction of Medicare. As such accessing its services can seem daunting and complex. Below is a step by step process to guide you in the application process;
Check your eligibility:
- Review your eligibility at ndis.gov.au/ndis-access-checklist
- If you are eligible contact the NDIA on 1800 800 110 for an Access Request Form
Obtain evidence of your disability:
- You will need to obtain evidence of your hearing loss in the form of a report from your Audiologist
- Contact Cairns Audiology Group on 07 4054 5561 to arrange an appointment for assessment and Audiological report.
- There is a fee involved for assessment which you may have to cover yourself depending on your situation.
- Make sure you mention if you have a pension card when booking an appointment.
- Your audiologist should also provide a quote for any hearing aids or assistive devices appropriate for your hearing loss. You will need to provide this to the NDIS along with your Audiological report.
Apply for NDIA Access:
- Complete and submit your Access Request Form
Develop Your NDIS Plan:
- If access is approved an NDIS planner will contact you to help develop your NDIS plan
- For hearing related disabilities, the plan should include a statement that the plan includes supports from the Office of Hearing Services Program.
- Access to the Office of Hearing Services plan will include standard base level devices and services. If you require additional services such as top-up hearing aids, blue tooth accessories, additional technologies or additional rehabilitation services, these need to be noted specifically in your plan. These should be noted in the initial quote provided by your audiologist.
- If services outside of the Office of Hearing Services Program are approved, the NDIS should supply funding for these.
- Your audiologist will supply any General Assistive Technology assessment forms required for complex assistive devices.
- Standard assistive devices such as visual alert smoke alarms, door bells and baby monitors will not require additional application forms.
Apply for access to the OHS program:
- Your planner must submit the OHS application for NDIS participants, ensuring correct paperwork is included.
Make an appointment with your Audiologist:
- Once your plan is approved and access to the OHS program granted, you can contact Cairns Audiology Group on 07 4054 5561 for an appointment to have your hearing aids fit and any assistive devices supplied.
- The OHS program will provide payment direct to the audiologist for some aspects of your NDIS plan. Other aspects such as top-up devices or assistive technology will be paid by you, if your plan is self-managed, and reimbursed by the NDIS or directly NDIS directly.