deafness forum
Royal Commission Into Disability
March 20, 2020

NDIS funded hearing supports from 1 July 2020

ndis logo

Analysis of the policy assumptions underpinning the transition of clients from the Hearing Services Program (HSP) to the NDIS and feedback from consultations has enabled a deeper consideration of the service and legislative interaction between the HSP and the NDIS. I thank you again for your involvement.

The purpose of this email is to advise you of the policy settings for NDIS funded hearing services from 1 July 2020.

Key points:

  • The HSP program and policy settings remain in place and will continue to provide assessments, devices, fittings and services for eligible Australians, including children.
  • From 1 July 2020, the HSP will operate alongside the NDIS and will continue providing essential hearing services to eligible HSP clients. Paediatric HSP service offering is not being rolled into the NDIS.
  • In general, the NDIS will not fund services that are available to NDIS participants through other general systems of service delivery like the HSP.
  • The NDIS will fund additional reasonable and necessary supports outside the HSP to participants, including hearing services for participants who are not eligible for the HSP.

For NDIS participants

  • Clients of the Community Service Obligation (CSO) component of the HSP, including children and young adults under the age of 26, will continue to receive hearing services through the HSP.
  • If CSO clients are also NDIS participants, they will be able to access additional supports, where reasonable and necessary, through the NDIS, for example: early intervention therapy, Auslan language development and assistive technology that is not available under the HSP.
  • NDIS participants aged 26 and over who are not eligible for the HSP, will be able to receive reasonable and necessary hearing services and supports funded under the NDIS, including audiology assessments, fittings and devices.
  • NDIS participants will have more choice of providers from 1 July 2020, as hearing service providers can now register with the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission.

For HSP clients

  • The HSP will continue to be available for eligible Australians to provide hearing assessments, devices, fittings and ongoing maintenance or replacement.
  • Existing HSP clients may choose to seek access to the NDIS where there is a need for additional supports or if they cease to be eligible for the HSP.
  • HSP clients will continue to be able to access the NDIS for additional disability supports through supported pathways including for 0-6 year olds, the early intervention pathway through Hearing Australia.

For hearing service providers from 1 July 2020

  • Funding for hearing services under the NDIS will be available for adults aged 26 and over outside of the HSP and providers are encouraged to register with the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission. 
  • All NDIS providers are covered by the NDIS Code of Conduct. Registered NDIS providers must also comply with the relevant NDIS Practice Standards that apply for a provider’s registration group (these are determined by the types of NDIS funded supports and services they deliver).  
  • In relation to hearing services, specialised hearing services and equipment registration groups, the NDIS Practice Standards take account professional qualifications and memberships that apply for audiologists and audiometrists, as determined by relevant industry bodies.

Further information will be made available from May 2020 and will be published on the NDIS website and we will continue to engage in the development of communications.

We know there may be circumstances in which NDIS participants are accessing services through a private audiologist and providers are supporting children. For further information about specific circumstances regarding hearing services and the NDIS ahead of 1 July 2020, you can contact the NDIA via hearing@ndis.gov.au

For information about NDIS provider registration, please refer to the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission website, or email contactcentre@ndiscommission.gov.au. For any other information, please contact DSS at ndishearingpolicy@dss.gov.au.