An Australian Government Department of Health InitiativeWangaratta Audiology is a contracted services provider for The Office of Hearing Services program
Free Hearing Services
Pensioners and eligible Department of Veterans’ Affairs clients are able to access hearing services through the voucher program organised through the Office of Hearing Services nationally.
A voucher is issued to eligible people after they have completed an application form and had it signed by their doctor.
The applicant can easily arrange for the voucher to be obtained electronically through their local hearing services provider.
Services which are provided through the voucher program include comprehensive hearing assessment, discussion about communication strategies, access to “free-to-client” hearing devices from leading manufacturers as appropriate, assistance in learning to use the amplification, and an optional on-going annual maintenance program.
People fitted with hearing aids under this program for the first time can also access a Rehab+ program to assist them to best use their hearing instruments during the first year. A return voucher can be issued each three years.
The OHS program entitles hearing impaired individuals to access a range of hearing aids at no cost for either the devices or the services.
These aids, considered to be “base grade” hearing aids, offer good sound quality and are suitable for the majority of clients.
Some individuals prefer to use the OHS program to “top up” to more expensive hearing aids to access a range of automatic features and better sound quality.
Some features are explained in the section on hearing aids. These features can be important to clients who are regularly involved in meetings, social or family events
Also, people who are nursing home residents may gain significant benefit in hearing aids with automatic features as they are moving from their own quiet room into the noisy dining room a few times a day.
For more information about the Office of Hearing Services, you can visit their website at:
www.hearingservices.gov.au/ or come into the clinic and we can assist you with your questions.
Am I eligible to receive free hearing services?
You are eligible for the program if you are an Australian citizen or permanent resident 21 years or older and you are:
- a Pensioner Concession Card Holder;
- receiving Sickness Allowance from Centrelink;
- the holder of a Gold Repatriation Health Card issued for all conditions;
- the holder of a White Repatriation Health Card issued for conditions that include hearing loss;
- a dependent of a person in one of the above categories;
- a member of the Australian Defence Force; or
- part of the Australian Government funded Disability Employment Services (DES) – Disability Management Service and you are referred by your Disability Employment Services case manager.
You are eligible to receive hearing services through the Community Service Obligations (CSO) component of the program if you are an Australian citizen or permanent resident and you are:
- younger than 26 years;
- an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander who is over 50 years;
- an Indigenous participant in the Remote Jobs and Community Program; or
- a former Indigenous participant in a Community Development Employment Projects Program, who received hearing services before 30 June 2013.
In addition, National Disability Insurance Scheme participants may access hearing services through the program if referred for services by their National Disability Insurance Agency Planner.
Not everyone is eligible for the Australian Government Hearing Services Program. If you are not eligible for the program, you may be able to have a hearing aid fitted at a reduced cost through a hearing aid bank.
How do I apply?
You can now apply for the Australian Government Hearing Services Program online.
In most cases your online application will take a few minutes to complete and you will be told if you are eligible once you have submitted your application.
If you are eligible, you will be sent a welcome pack to the program.
If you are unable to apply online you can apply by:
visiting a hearing services provider who can help you apply for the program;
phoning 1800 500 726 and an application form can be emailed or posted to you.
Before visiting a hearing services provider you will need to obtain a medical certificate from your medical practitioner.
Your medical practitioner will need to confirm that there are no medical reasons to prevent you getting a hearing device, if needed.
For paper applications, please ensure you complete all the required sections on the form and then post your completed form to:
Office of Hearing Services Department of Health
Mail Drop Point 113
GPO Box 9848
CANBERRA ACT 2601
Please note that paper applications may take up to three to four weeks to process and any missing information may cause further delays in processing your application.