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Factsheet HIP121 - Providers - Hearing Services for Veterans

Purpose

This Factsheet outlines the hearing service and devices options available to eligible Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) clients through the Hearing Services Program (HSP) and DVA programs.

What do I need to consider with regard to Hearing loss?

DVA clients’ hearing loss can be attributed to their service, an environment in which veterans are often exposed to damaging levels of noise.

Veterans may also have a range of health conditions in addition to hearing loss, which may require careful consideration and understanding in the clinical setting including:

  • clinical circumstances
  • listening environments
  • lifestyle
  • social, and
  • workplace needs.

Eligible DVA clients are provided assistance, advice and high-quality devices through the following programs:

Which programs does the Department of Health administer?

The HSP and CSO are administered through the Department of Health.

DVA has a long-standing relationship with the Department of Health which enables veterans to access free hearing services through the HSP.

Through the HSP, veterans receive:

  • a comprehensive clinical assessment
  • consultation with a qualified practitioner to help identify a veteran's hearing levels
  • any clinical indicators that warrant medical investigation, and
  • access to a wide range of hearing devices.   

What hearing aids are available to DVA clients?

DVA clients have access to a range of over 160 high-quality modern fully subsidised hearing aids through the HSP, and assistive listening devices (ALDs) through DVA programs.

The majority of veterans do well with fully subsidised hearing aids and achieve positive hearing outcomes.

It is important that DVA clients are offered all appropriate fully subsidised options before being referred as a complex hearing client.

Can we provide additional support?

Yes. Providing holistic care to veteran clients can help manage their expectations and improve satisfaction.   

Additional support is available for veterans with complex health or personal circumstances, through Australian Hearing’s CSO program, providing veterans access to a broad range of services and devices.

Further information on CSO eligibility can be found on the Australian Hearing website.

What does RAP provide for hearing?

The DVA RAP:

  • provides options for additional support for DVA clients to access a range of ALDs
  • is unique to DVA; and
  • provides ALDs to DVA clients at no cost.

ALDs available to DVA clients include:

  • headsets for watching the television,
  • personal amplifiers,
  • FM systems and
  • streamers.

Some clients may require a combination of ALDs to support their lifestyle and hearing requirements.

ALDs available to DVA clients are listed in the RAP National Schedule of Equipment. The Schedule is available on the DVA RAP website page and outlines:

  • the criteria for the provision; and
  • whether DVA’s approval is required..

What is the DVA Tinnitus Program?

DVA clients with chronic or severe tinnitus may be eligible for treatment under the DVA Tinnitus Program.

DVA's Tinnitus Program provides support to eligible veterans experiencing chronic and/or distressing tinnitus.

To assist veterans the Tinnitus Program can arrange for:

  • a clinical assessment of tinnitus
  • scientifically validated treatment provided by an audiologist
  • specialised counselling such as tinnitus retraining therapy
  • hearing aids with tinnitus settings
  • devices to assist with sleep

In the first instance, DVA recommends the fitting of hearing aids to treat tinnitus.

For chronic and/or distressing tinnitus which remains after hearing device fitting, DVA clients may request a referral to an Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) specialist from their medical practitioner.

Do I need prior approval for tinnitus therapy?

Yes. After a complete investigation, you or the ENT can present recommendations to DVA requesting prior approval for a program of tinnitus therapy. Prior approval must be sought before commencing treatment.

Recommendations for treatment and prior approval should be sent to DVA via health.approvals@dva.gov.au

What Hearing Services and/or Devices are available?

The following table provides an easy comparison of services and devices available from the above programs:

Hearing Services / Devices available to Veterans HSP RAP DVA Tinnitus Program* CSO
Clinical assessment, counselling and rehabilitation

Hearing aids

Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs)
(FM Systems, Streamers, headphones for TV)

✘**

Tinnitus masking devices and devices to help with sleep

*Subject to prior approval.

**TV headphones may be supplied under the HSP as an alternative to hearing aids.

Are all DVA clients eligible for hearing services?

DVA clients are eligible for the HSP if they are an Australian citizen or permanent resident 21 years or older and a:

  • holder of a DVA Gold Health Card, or
  • holder of a DVA White Health Card (for hearing loss), or
  • holder of a DVA Pensioner Concession Card, or
  • spouse or dependent (including children) of one of the above categories.

You can check your client’s eligibility on the HSP website.

More Information

Hearing Service Program

General Enquiries:  1800 500 726  

National Relay Number (NRS) 1800 555 660

Email: hearing@health.gov.au

Website: www.hearingservices.gov.au

DVA General Enquiries

Phone: 1800 555 254 *

Email: GeneralEnquiries@dva.gov.au

DVA Website: www.dva.gov.au

Factsheet Website: factsheets.dva.gov.au

* Calls from mobile phones and pay phones may incur additional charges.

Additional Information

DVA Service Provider Enquiries

Phone: 1800 550 457*

Service Provider Website: www.dva.gov.au/providers

Related Factsheets

Disclaimer

The information contained in this Factsheet is general in nature and does not take into account individual circumstances. You should not make important decisions, such as those that affect your financial or lifestyle position on the basis of information contained in this Factsheet. Where you are required to lodge a written claim for a benefit, you must take full responsibility for your decisions prior to the written claim being determined. You should seek confirmation in writing of any oral advice you receive from DVA.

 

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29 October 2018