The NDIS and hearing loss

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What is the NDIS?

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is the new way of providing support for Australians with a permanent disability

The NDIS will provide about half a million Australians under the age of 65 with a permanent disability with the supports they need to live an ordinary life.

For further information visit the NDIS website.

What does it mean for people with hearing loss?

To date, there has been no assistance for adults under the age of 65 needing hearing services. The NDIS will change this. Finally adults who meet the criteria and have permanent hearing loss will have access to subsidised hearing services. Hearing devices, assistive listening devices and hearing rehabilitation services can be expensive. The NDIS will alleviate this financial pressure and provide people with the care they need.

Many adults in Australia under the age of 65 are currently living with a permanent hearing loss that is unmanaged. This means that in their day to day life, they are struggling to hear family members, to hear in the workplace and in social situations. This untreated hearing loss can result in social isolation, limitations in employment opportunities, and more rapid cognitive decline in senior years. It is our hope that these adults will take up the support offered by the NDIS to address their hearing needs.

If this sounds like you or your loved one, please give NDIS a call on 1800 800 110. They are ready and waiting for you and eager to get you the assistance you need.

What we know

We know who is eligible to access the NDIS…

  • To become an NDIS participant you must: Have a permanent impairment that significantly affects your ability to take part in everyday activities eg. Hearing loss
  • Be aged less than 65 when you first apply to enter the NDIS
  • Live in Australia in an NDIS area on a specified date (to check if your area click here.)
  • Be an Australian citizen or hold a permanent visa or a Protected Special Category visa.

We have some idea what will be provided…

  • Participants with permanent hearing loss that is significantly affecting day to day life will be able to access hearing services through the Office of Hearing Services (OHS) scheme.
  • OHS provides fully subsidised hearing assessments, hearing devices and subsidies for the maintenance costs associated with hearing devices
  • NDIS may also cover reasonable requests such as assistive devices to help during meetings/ lectures, devices for TV and phone listening
What we don’t know
  • How long will it take to complete the assessment process and find out if you are eligible for the NDIS?
  • Once you become a participant, how long will it take to receive the equipment and services that you need?
  • What kind of evidence does the NDIS require to support your application?
  • There are still many questions we need to be answered to flow seamlessly through the NDIS process from applicant to participant. However, at Active Audiology, we are learning every day. We are collecting this information as quickly as possible. We will support any future participant to find their way through this new process. We are so excited that adults with hearing loss will finally have somewhere to turn for the support they need.
References - Lin F. John Hopkins Medicine. “Hearing Loss Accelerates Brain Function Decline in Older Adults”. Released January 23 2013.

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