How to access hearing services during a natural disaster
From time to time, hearing services providers of the Australian Government Hearing Services Program (the program) may need to temporarily close as a result of a natural disaster (e.g. bushfires, cyclones, flooding). In some instances, this closure may be for a significant period of time. The following information relates to urgent assistance available to you if you live in an area affected by a natural disaster and your usual hearing services provider has closed.
If you have a damaged hearing aid that needs to be serviced in the clinic or sent to the manufacturer for repair, you can attend any hearing services provider of the program for assistance.
This hearing services provider (the “treating provider”) can dispatch your hearing aid to the manufacturer for repair if needed, with a covering note asking that the manufacturer returns the device to your usual hearing services provider. In this situation, the treating provider should contact your regular hearing services provider (if possible), before undertaking this process as there will be occasions where your regular provider will be closed for longer than expected.
Lost or damaged beyond repair devices
If your hearing aid has been deemed damaged beyond repair by the manufacturer, or lost, and you have an urgent need for it to be replaced your treating provider will be able to assist you. If your hearing aid was lost you will need to complete a statutory declaration regarding how it was lost and give this to your treating provider. You may also be asked to pay a $30 replacement fee (your treating provider can waive this fee).
Note that Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) gold and white card holders who are clients of the program do not need to pay the replacement fee, as DVA will cover this cost.
Depending on availability, your treating provider may be able to offer you a hearing aid on loan while your device is sent for repair, or awaiting replacement.
Finding a hearing services provider
If your usual hearing services provider is closed during a natural disaster, you can locate other hearing services providers in your area on the program’s website, www.hearingservices.gov.au (under ‘Find a Hearing Services Provider’). You can also contact us on 1800 500 726, or email email@example.com for assistance.