The future of hearing services in Australia is more secure with an arrangement between the NDIS and the Hearing Services Program that applies from July 1, 2020.
The Hearing Services Program (HSP) and NDIS fund public hearing services in Australia. HSP funds hearing services for Australian citizens and permanent residents, including children and young people under 26, who satisfy its eligibility criteria .
HSP will continue to be sole provider of its services for eligible children and young people under 26 while the NDIS will fund all reasonable and necessary services for participants aged 26 and over who are not able to access the program.
The NDIS will also help participants connect with the HSP and may also fund other hearing supports that are not available through the HSP.
It is possible to access the NDIS and the HSP at the same time but not receive the same supports from both programs at the same time.
For NDIS participants accessing services and support from the HSP, there will be no immediate changes to their current arrangements with hearing services and supports for discussion at the next plan review.
There are a number of opportunities for hearing providers under the NDIS. These include:
- Offering all reasonable and necessary hearing support to NDIS participants who are aged 26 and over and do not qualify for the HSP
- Continue to be able to offer reasonable and necessary disability related supports to a range of age groups including people under 26 years where they are not available to the participant through the HSP
- HSP contracted providers will have the chance to offer their services to NDIS participants who retail their HSP vouchers until they expire.
Providers in Western Australia seeking to register before December 1, 2020 need to register with the NDIA instead of the NDIS Commission.