Hearing impairments and the NDIS – it’s often hard to find a straight answer about what is and isn’t included in the NDIS. Hearing loss can have a significant impact on independence, participation in community life and the ability to communicate with others.
For someone with a hearing impairment to be eligible to access the NDIS, they need to firstly meet the general NDIS access criteria:
It’s good to note here that NDIS won’t pay for diagnostic hearing assessments to support an application to NDIS. In some circumstances, there may be a Medicare rebate available, or it may be funded through the HSP.
According to the NDIS, people with hearing loss need to demonstrate a substantially reduced functional capacity to undertake relevant activities. You’ll meet the access requirements if your hearing impairment is equal to or greater than 65 decibels, in the better ear. If you don’t meet these criteria though, don’t fear: the NDIA will still consider all the information you provide in determining whether you should be able to access the scheme.
The evidence you provide of ‘substantially reduced functional activity’ should reflect that you’re unable to function without support for most activities, in at least one of these areas:
If you’re an audiologist or audiometrist, you cannot claim for time spent completing the access form for a participant; however, if the NDIS asks for a Hearing Devices and Technology Assessment to be completed once the person has been accepted into the scheme, then this will be claimable through the CB Improved Daily Living budget.
You may be eligible to access the Hearing Services Program (HSP) if you have:
The HSP funds hearing services for Australian citizens and permanent residents, including children and young people under 26, who satisfy its eligibility criteria .
The NDIS funds hearing supports for NDIS participants aged 26 and over who are not eligible for the HSP. The NDIS also funds additional reasonable and necessary hearing supports for participants if they are not available through the HSP. This includes people under 26.
You can access the NDIS and HSP at the same time but you can’t get the same supports from both programs at the same time.
|Under 7||NDIS – although HSP will pay for the testing and fitting of hearing devices. Your audiologist will refer you to Hearing Australia, and they will support you to apply for the NDIS. It usually doesn’t take very long to hear back with a confirmation as a participant in the NDIS. |
There’s more information here.
|7 – 25 years old||HSP. NDIS will fund supports not available through the HSP, if they’re reasonable and necessary.|
|26 and over, and eligible for HSP||HSP. If you’re eligible for HSP (check here), you;’ll be funded by this program. If there are any supports you need that aren’t funded by HSP that are deemed reasonable and necessary (you can read more about what this means here), NDIS will cover this.|
|26 and over, and not eligible for HSP||NDIS. The NDIS will fund reasonable and necessary supports for you.|
|65 and over, and already an NDIS participant||NDIS. If you choose to stay on NDIS once you turn 65, the NDIS will fund reasonable and necessary hearing supports that aren’t available through the HSP.|
|65 and over, and not already an NDIS participant||HSP.|
NDIS has created a Provider FAQ with more information for hearing services providers about how to work with the NDIS. You can read it here.