A Brief Information About the Office of Hearing Services (OHS)

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Office of Hearing Services

Hearing loss can have a significant impact on all aspects of life including the physical and psychological wellbeing of an individual. It hampers the ability of a person to communicate with others, often disconnecting them from community life. It is, therefore, necessary to address a hearing concern at the earliest to prevent it from aggravating further.

Hearing impairment is a common problem and affects one in six Australians. It is the aim of the Australian Government Hearing Services Program to make access to hearing services easy. This program is administered by the Office of Hearing Services (OHS) which has the scheme to provide free hearing tests and hearing aids to pensioners and veterans.

By availing a Hearing Services Voucher from the Office of Hearing Services, eligible candidates can get the following services free of any charge.

  • Hearing assessment
  • Hearing rehabilitation
  • Selecting and fitting hearing aids
  • Hearing aid maintenance and battery

Eligibility for Hearing Services Voucher:

A citizen of Australia or a permanent resident who is 21 years of age or older is eligible to obtain the Hearing Services Voucher if they have any of the following cards or is a dependent of a person who has one of the following cards.

  • Pensioner Card (Blue and Maroon card from Centrelink)
  • Disability Pensioner card.
  • Health Care Card for Sickness Allowance (the card must be marked with allowance type ‘SA’)
  • Gold Repatriation Health Card for all conditions (Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA))
  • White Repatriation Health Card for conditions including hearing loss (Department of Veterans Affairs issued)
  • A Member of the Australian Defence Force
  • Undergoing a vocational rehabilitation program with the Commonwealth Rehabilitation Service (CRS) Australia and they have been referred by their case manager.

How to Apply for a Hearing Services Voucher:

To avail the free service offered under the OHS scheme, a person has to first apply for the voucher. When applying for the first time, a medical referral form completed by a doctor will be required. The application can be submitted online through the Office of Hearing Services Portal website. On behalf of the client, this process is taken care of by the hearing service provider.

The Benefits of the Hearing Services Voucher:

With the hearing service voucher, a client is entitled to a complete hearing assessment. In case the assessment suggests that a hearing aid or any other device is required to improve the hearing ability, the audiologist will assist the client. With the help of the audiologist, the client can select a hearing device that precisely addresses the hearing concern. The client is entitled to get a subsidised device.

Top Up Plan:

Under the program, there is also the option to go for a top up device. With a ‘top up’ arrangement, the client can choose a hearing aid which is equipped with additional features. These features are beyond the ones required to get a satisfactory hearing result. The difference in the cost that exists, in this case, is paid by the client. The top up plan is optional and a matter of choice. It is not mandatory for a client to opt for a top up.

Maintenance Agreement:

After a client receives a hearing device, they need to have a maintenance agreement with the service provider. There is a small cost involved in this agreement but the same is not applicable for DVA clients. This cost is around $45 and fixed by the Offices of Hearing Services. The cost may increase every year.

Under the maintenance agreement, the costs covered include battery supply, repairs and servicing of hearing aid. For clients with a DVA card, the cost of the maintenance agreement is taken care of by the DVA. The voucher itself mentions if a client is eligible for a free maintenance agreement.

Providers can receive payment for the services they have offered from the Office of the Hearing Services by means of an electronic claim form. A copy signed by the client also needs to be included along with the claim.

There are also some hearing aids that are available to pensioners free of cost. The BTE, ITE and ITC are examples of the same.

Untreated hearing loss can leave you feeling disconnected and depressed. It can lead to withdrawal from social situations and cause emotional stress. It is therefore important to address any hearing concern and seek help. Hearing aids can immensely improve the ability of an individual to hear. Moreover, with the wide choices available, you can choose a comfortable and discreet hearing aid.

Looking for a reliable hearing service provider?

We, at Active Audiology, are an independent hearing clinic and believe in offering unbiased solutions tailored to suit the individual needs of our clients. We have a complete range of options available and can suggest hearing aids that best address your hearing concern, suit your lifestyle, budget and are specifically programmed to your needs. If you wish to know more about our hearing aids, feel free to reach out to our team. You can call us on 1300 364 007. We will be happy to assist you.

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