The risk for permanent hearing loss increases with age, and the Australian male population is at higher risk of developing the condition. It is predicted that due to the increasing noise pollution and exposure to gadgets and machines that produce loud music and noise, at least one-fourth of the Australian population will experience hearing loss to some extent.
Once hearing loss sets in, you must act quick. A lot of people neglect their sense of hearing and end up regretting it once their hearing loss reaches a more profound level. It can cause other health concerns that can contribute to a lower quality of life, especially for seniors.
Hearing loss can be very stressful if one was never accustomed to the lack of auditory stimulation. It can cause headaches and tension, and it may even increase blood pressure levels. People who leave hearing loss untreated may find themselves avoidant of social interactions and activities they used to find pleasurable. But the good news is that none of this has to happen to you.
If you are an Australian pensioner who has resided in the country for at least 10 years, you are entitled to a free hearing test courtesy of the government hearing aid subsidy. The Australian Government Hearing Services Program offers free hearing aids for pensioners. Free hearing aids for veterans are also provided under this legislation.
What Are the Services Provided by Free Hearing Aid Programs?
The program covers an extensive list of services that you can access before and after acquiring free hearing aids for pensioners.
- Privilege to choose preferred hearing services provider
- A comprehensive hearing test
- Full subsidy for hearing aids
- Subsidy for hearing aid maintenance, repair and replacement when upgrade is recommended
- Continuous free hearing aid guide and support
Am I Eligible to Receive Free Hearing Aids?
If you are a senior Australian who is of pension age, you must meet at least one of the following requirements to be eligible for free hearing aids:
- Pensioner Concession Card holder
- Centrelink Sickness Allowance recipient
- A dependent of any of the above
- Referred by a disability employment services case manager under any disability management service funded by the Australian government
If you are a veteran client of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, you must meet at least one of these requirements to be eligible:
- DVA Gold Card holder
- DVA White Card holder, condition for hearing loss included under coverage
- DVA Pensioner Concession Card holder
- A dependent of any of the above
How Can I Get a Free Hearing Aid?
If this is your first time to apply, pay your doctor a visit so that they can fill out this medical certificate for you. You will need clearance from your doctor before you can be fitted with a hearing aid. This way, you can be certain that it will not interfere with any medical concerns you may have.
Acquiring free hearing aids for low income seniors and pensioners is now made easier through three different application methods:
1. Apply online via the Hearing Services Portal. If you require assistance, you may call 1800-500-726 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Your chosen hearing services provider may apply on your behalf during your visit.
3. You may manually apply by filling out this form and posting it to the Hearing Services Program or emailing it to them. Do note that this will take four weeks to process.
Once you are approved, the Department will send your welcome pack that contains a letter and pensioner hearing aid voucher, an information booklet and a list of hearing services providers.
Are There Hidden Costs Associated with These Free Hearing Aid Programs?
No, the Australian Government Hearing Services Program is fully subsidised by the Australian Government. All services mentioned above are free as long as you are eligible and you use your voucher with any of the approved and listed hearing services providers.
The Department of Veterans’ Affairs provides free hearing aids for veterans. However, veterans and their dependents who are listed on the DVA Pensioner Concession Card will not receive a subsidy for the annual maintenance cost of hearing devices.
If the hearing aid that you wish to receive has more than the essential components or features, that is the only time you will get a partial subsidy. This means that the program will pay the original amount allowed by the subsidy and you will pay whatever the remaining cost amounts to. This amount is not eligible for reimbursement through the program.
Here at Hearing Solvers, we are dedicated to assisting every individual. This includes making sure that these free hearing aids for seniors in Australia reach those who need it most. Hearing Solvers values every Australian veteran and pensioner, and we are ready to guide you every step of the process and thereafter.