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

NDIS and Hearing Service Providers

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is administered by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) and supports people who have a permanent and significant disability to receive reasonable and necessary support. The Australian Government Hearing Services Program (the program) will continue to fund hearing services for NDIS clients until 30 June 2020.

NDIS Access Requirements

To join the NDIS a person needs to meet the age, residency and either the disability or early intervention requirements.

Age requirements

To access the NDIS, a person must be under 65 years of age at the time they make their access request.

Residence requirements

A person will meet the residence requirements if they

  • live in Australia, and
  • are either an Australian Citizen, holder of a permanent visa or a special category visa (SCV) holder who is a protected SCV holder, and
  • if you live in Western Australia, meet any additional residence phasing requirements.

Hearing loss requirements

Children and young adults (0 to 25 years of age)

Children and young adults (0-25 years of age) may meet the early intervention requirements if they have

  • auditory neuropathy, or
  • a permanent hearing loss of 25 decibels (dB) or more in either ear at 2 or more adjacent frequencies, and require a hearing device(s).

Adults 26 to 64 years of age

Adults 26 years and over, may meet the disability requirements for the NDIS if they have

  • a four frequency average (500Hz, 1000Hz, 2000Hz and 4000Hz) hearing loss of 65 decibels (dB) or more in the better ear, or
  • an average hearing loss below 65dB, and have other permanent impairments (for example vision or cognitive impairments), or poor speech discrimination.

Hearing services prior to 30 June 2020

The program will continue to fund hearing services for NDIS participants until 30 June 2020. Service providers do not need to be registered with the NDIA to deliver hearing services to NDIS participants.

It is recommended that service providers encourage their clients who may meet the NDIS access requirements to apply for the NDIS sooner rather than later. Prospective NDIS participants need to request an Access Request form by

The Access Request form requires evidence of a person’s disability. Service providers will need to provide prospective NDIS participants with the following

  • a copy of their latest audiogram (ideally, less than five years old), or
  • if their average hearing threshold is <65dB, an audiogram and audiological report demonstrating they have substantially reduced capacity to communicate or interact socially.

Applying for the program

The NDIA planner will need to email the NDIS participant’s completed hearing services application to hearing@health.gov.au. Applications will only be processed if they are sent by an official NDIS email address.

The medical certificate section of the application form needs to be completed if the NDIS participant is new to the program. NDIS participants who are current clients of the program do not need to complete the medical certificate section.

Specialist hearing services

NDIS participants, over the age of 26, who meet the criteria for specialist hearing services can choose to access the Community Service Obligations (CSO) component of the program through Australian Hearing. Alternatively, NDIS participants can choose to stay with their current provider and receive services through the voucher component of the program. Service providers are responsible for educating their clients about the specialist hearing services delivered by Australian Hearing.

Young adults aged between 21 and 26 can choose to receive hearing services from either Australian Hearing (CSO component) or through any other contracted service provider (voucher component).

Fully subsidised hearing services

NDIS participants who receive hearing services through the voucher component of the program are eligible for the same services as other voucher clients. This means NDIS participants can access a wide range of fully subsidised hearing devices that are suitable for most clinical needs.

Partially subsidised hearing devices

The NDIA funds reasonable and necessary supports to help participants achieve their goals, and to participate in social and economic activities. In exceptional circumstances, the NDIS may consider paying the gap for partially subsidised hearing devices if they are reasonable and necessary. This depends on the participant’s individual circumstances, the additional features requested and clinical information/evidence submitted to the NDIA.

Service providers should not proceed with fitting a partially subsidised device until they confirm, with the NDIA or NDIS participant, the gap amount is included in the NDIS participants plan. If the partially subsidised devices do not meet the ‘reasonable and necessary’ criteria, the NDIS participant may choose to purchase the devices independently.

Service providers will need to ensure they follow the program requirements when fitting partially subsidised devices.

Hearing services post 30 June 2020

After 30 June 2020, NDIS participants in the program will have their hearing services funded through the NDIS (not the program). In order to deliver hearing services to NDIS participants, service providers will need to become a registered NDIS provider.

New NDIS provider registrations are currently closed for hearing please, visit the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission website for further information.

The program will continue to provide hearing services to eligible clients who are not NDIS participants.

Further Information

For more information about the NDIS, please visit Hearing Supports or contact the NDIA directly via phone, 1800 500 726, or email, provider.support@NDIS.gov.au.

 

NDIS and Contracted Hearing Service Providers (PDF 165 KB)

Medical Certificate

Specialist Hearing Services

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