Australian Government - Department of Health - Office of Hearing Services
Hearing Services Program

Request for a new voucher when the existing voucher has not expired

A client is entitled to one assessment per hearing services voucher and one device fitting every five years.

A service provider should only request a new voucher when the existing voucher has not expired if the client’s circumstances change significantly, and the client cannot wait for their current voucher to expire before receiving specific services again. In this instance, the service provider needs to submit a completed request form and the required evidence to hearing@health.gov.au.

Application form

In order for a request for a new voucher to be processed, both pages of the application must be submitted, and the client (or power of attorney) and practitioner must sign the form. The practitioner cannot sign on the client’s behalf.

Practitioners must ensure the appropriate boxes are marked on the second page of the application form and that the required information is also submitted. Practitioners should select the most appropriate reason rather than selecting multiple reasons. There are 3 reasons for requesting a new voucher

  1. Reason 1 - Significant deterioration in hearing
  2. Reason 2 - Client is eligible for refitting under the Refitting Requirements and a device fitting has been claimed against the current voucher, and
  3. Reason 3 - Deterioration in health or cognition such that it is impacting significantly on communication and/or device management.

Service providers must ensure the client is still eligible for the program prior to submitting a request. If the client is no longer eligible for the program, a new voucher will not be approved.

Required information for reason 1

A provider can request a new voucher if the client’s hearing thresholds have deteriorated more than 10dB at two or more frequencies between 500Hz and 4000Hz. The following information is required for reason 1

  • The previous audiogram
  • The current audiogram, and
  • Tympanometry results if bone conduction testing was not completed.

To help reduce processing times, the provider should also include a written summary of why a new voucher is required.

Required information for reason 2

If a client meets the current Eligibility Criteria for Refitting (ECR) but has already received a fitting on their current voucher, service providers can request a new voucher under reason 2. Service providers must ensure they are using the current ECRs. The following information is required when requesting a new voucher for reason 2

  • The service provider or practitioner must clearly specify what ECR the client meets e.g. ECR 1
  • Case notes documenting a change in the client’s health or dexterity and why their current devices are no longer suitable
  • Details about what has been tried with the current hearing device(s) to try and resolve the issue and why these have not succeeded, or why they cannot be modified, and
  • How the proposed new device(s) will address the identified problems.

A letter from a medical practitioner is required when selecting ECR 2 or 3 to provide evidence of a change in client health.

Refitting requirements under the program

The Service Provider Contract 2018-2019 (the Contract) establishes the requirements under which service providers are required to deliver the program to eligible clients. The ECR guidelines are part of the contract and provide guidance for hearing practitioners to assist them when determining if a client requires a refit of their hearing device. When determining if a client is eligible for refitting under the ECR, practitioners are responsible for using their clinical judgement and clearly documenting their decision-making process.

Requests for new vouchers or to refit under exceptional circumstances cannot be approved as it is a legislative requirement that the client meets the ECR.

Service providers should also be aware that a request to refit to have matched devices is not included in the ECR. In this instance, service providers should refit the ear that meets the ECR with the same device (if still available on the list of approved devices) or with a similar device to the clients existing device.

A device fitting should only be claimed if a follow up appointment has been successfully completed.

Fitting the opposite ear when an item 820 has already been claimed

A request for a new voucher is not required when an item 820 has already been claimed against the current voucher and the client is eligible for a refit/fitting on the opposite ear. Please email hearing@health.gov.au for client specific advice on how to claim in this situation.

Required information for reason 3

A provider can request a new voucher if the client’s health or cognition has deteriorated impacting their device management and/or communication. The following information is required when requesting a new voucher for reason 3

  • Case notes documenting deterioration in the clients dexterity or health and why their current devices are no longer suitable
  • Details about what has been tried with the current hearing aid(s) to resolve the issues and why these have not succeeded, or why they cannot be modified
  • How the proposed new device(s) will address the identified problems
  • A letter from a medical practitioner documenting the deterioration in the client’s health and how they can no longer manage their devices.

Processing requests for new vouchers

Applications may take up to seven business days to process. To avoid delays in processing, providers must use the current application form, ensuring the required fields are completed, and the required information must be sent with the request. The application form and clinical case notes must be legible. A departmental officer will assess the request for a new voucher by reviewing the request form, supporting evidence and the client’s details on the Hearing Services Online portal. More information or clarification may be requested depending on the evidence provided.

Once a request has been processed, an email will be sent to the provider/practitioner notifying them if their request has been approved or not. Service providers should keep any documents, information and emails related to the request on the client’s file for audit purposes.

Requesting a new voucher for an National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participant or Disability Employment Services (DES) client

If your client is an NDIS participant or DES client, and they meet the criteria for a new voucher when the existing voucher has not expired, service providers will need to email the completed request form and the required evidence to hearing@health.gov.au.

In addition, service providers and or the client will need to contact the client’s National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) or DES planner who will need to re-complete the program’s application form and email it to hearing@health.gov.au. A medical practitioner signature is not required if the client has previously been a client of the program. Please note, we are unable to process a request for an NDIS participant or DES client unless we have received a new application form from the NDIA or DES planner.

More information

For more information about requests for new vouchers please email hearing@health.gov.au.

Request for a new voucher when the existing voucher has not expired (PDF 78 KB)

Application Form - Request for a new voucher (PDF 107 KB)

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