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Subsidies and Funding available to help with the cost of hearing aids

It is great that we have access to subsidy and funding avenues as New Zealand citizens and permanent residents to help towards the cost of hearing aids. It is important to understand your rights to access these revenues as they can make a big difference to the cost of hearing devices.

It is important to note that you cannot apply for multiple funding avenues (for example, if you are approved for ACC funding, you cannot also have the government subsidy or funding).The following information applies to adults only (children have different criteria).

ACC
Accident Compensation Corporation

For Noise or Trauma Induced Hearing loss

Occupational noise-induced hearing loss:

If you have experienced significant noise exposure through many years of work in a noisy environment, you may be eligible for funding towards hearing aids from ACC.

At the end of your hearing test, we can use a special ACC calculator to work out the percentage of your hearing loss, which determines if you are eligible to apply (you need 5% or higher). ACC then consider your application and let you know if they have approved it and for how much; the amount of funding ranges from $3,184.40 up to $4,979.45, which is decided by ACC.

At Wolfe Hearing we can initiate the ACC claim for you. Just call and book for a hearing test, complete the paperwork, and we will submit the claim request for you. Then, there is a wait while ACC assess your claim, which could include a discussion with an Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist. Once you have heard from ACC just call for a Hearing Aid Discussion appointment so that we can go through all the options available. You could choose to get hearing aids completely covered by the ACC funded amount, or you can top up to get a higher level of technology with more features available in the hearing aids. Even if you are turned down for funding, still contact us as we can look at other subsidy and funding avenues.

Trauma injury:

If you have experienced hearing loss or tinnitus through an accident (for example head injury) you must see your GP to initiate the ACC process to be considered for funding towards hearing aids; the pathway and funding amounts are different for trauma claims than for the noise-induced hearing loss claims.

If you have had ACC funding in the past: You can re-apply after 6 years if your hearing aids are no longer meeting your needs. In our experience most people who have already been approved in the past are approved again, but we will need a new hearing test and calculation of your hearing loss and to submit an application to ACC for their decision.

Subsidies for all New Zealanders

Ministry of Health

Hearing Aid Subsidy Scheme – Ministry of Health

The Ministry of Health currently offers a subsidy of $511.11 towards the cost of a hearing aid ($1022.22 towards the cost of a pair of hearing aids) every 6 years, for adults with hearing loss. This subsidy is taken off the cost of the hearing aids on our quote and then we apply for it at the end of a hearing aid trial if you are happy to keep the hearing aids. You do not need to do anything to receive the subsidy as we do it all for you using your NHI (national health index) number.

Hearing Aid Funding Scheme – Ministry of Health

The Ministry of Health also have funding available to cover the full cost of the prescribed devices for individuals who:

  • have had a significant hearing loss from childhood, or

  • have hearing loss and a significant visual impairment (for example, Deafblind); or hearing loss and an intellectual disability or a physical disability that limits their ability to communicate safely and effectively, or

  • have a Community Services Card and are:

  • in paid employment for 30 hours per week or more, or

  • a registered job seeker seeking paid employment, or

  • doing voluntary work (more than 20 hours per week), or

  • studying full time, or

  • caring full time for a dependent person.

We apply for this for you providing evidence that you meet these criteria. Note that the funding provided does not cover the hearing test, appointment fees or other costs associated with customising the devices for you.

Veterans Affairs

For injuries suffered during military service

If you currently have Veterans’ Affairs (VA) support or meet the requirements for qualifying service and have hearing loss or tinnitus, VA may be able to contribute towards the cost of hearing tests, hearing aids and consumables and repair costs. New funding is available every 6 years. There are a range of hearing aid styles and levels of technology with different hearing aid manufacturers available within the funded amount. Your audiologist and VA case manager will guide you through the process and select the best options for you depending on your hearing and listening needs.

Other information

Only audiologists who are full members of the New Zealand Audiological Society (MNZAS) can access the Funding and Subsidy Schemes for their clients. At Wolfe Hearing all of our audiologists are full members of NZAS and can access this funding on your behalf.

Please note the details here are not comprehensive or definitive and are intended as a summary and guide to the public to understand the basic information regarding options that are available for the subsidy and funding.  We are happy to explain all of the different funing avenues available in detail and assist you to access your entitlements.

 

For more information on the subsidies and the Ministry of Health’s guide to getting hearing aids Click here. For a booklet on the Funding scheme Click Here.

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