Free hearing services for young people

21 December 2011

The Commonwealth Government is extending free hearing services to young people from 1 January 2012, the Federal Member for Cunningham, Sharon Bird, said today.

“Young people aged 21 to 26 years of age living in the Illawarra will be eligible for a range of free hearing services. Previously a young person became ineligible when they turned 21 years of age.

“Young people will be eligible for rehabilitation and hearing devices, including hearing aids and cochlear implant speech processor upgrades from Hearing Australia.

“The inability to access appropriate hearing services can have a serious effect on a young person’s ability to earn a living and participate socially.

“The extension of free hearing services to young people up to 26 years of age ensures they can have any hearing problems addressed quickly and early, while undertaking their studies, or establishing themselves in their chosen careers”, Ms Bird said.

The Government has invested an additional $47 million over four years to expand the Community Service Obligations (CSO) component of the Hearing Services Program (HSP).

To be eligible to access hearing services as part of these changes, young adults must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident, have not yet turned 26 years of age, and have a confirmed hearing loss.