In order to access the hearing services scheme, a person must:
- be eligible – a person is eligible if he/she is an Australian citizen or permanent resident, 21 years or older and:
– in receipt of a Pensioner Concession Card or Sickness Allowance from Centrelink
- apply for a voucher (a doctor can provide an application form or it is available on the OHS website). If the person is applying to the program for the first time, a medical practitioner includes relevant information and signs the referral.
When the OHS receives an application, it checks eligibility and sends the applicant a letter with an attached voucher and a Local Provider Directory. Enclosed with the letter is information explaining how to arrange an appointment with an accredited service provider.
Vouchers for hearing services are valid for three years. The three year hearing services voucher covers the full range of services including: assessment; rehabilitation; hearing aids if clinically required; and aid adjustments.
The scheme provides clients with a hearing aid that provides a satisfactory rehabilitation outcome. However, the scheme also allows for ‘top-up’ arrangements where clients can choose to be fitted with a hearing aid with additional features beyond those necessary to achieve a satisfactory rehabilitation outcome.
Under the ‘top-up’ arrangements the client pays the difference in cost to the service provider.