The first step for financial assistance for hearing aids is to check with your health insurance provider to see if there is hearing aid coverage. After that, check out the resources below to see if you would be eligible for any of these programs.
Children with hearing loss may be able to receive assistive technology at no cost if their Individualized Education Program specifies that they need the assistive technology (such as hearing aids or FM systems) in order to receive a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). For more information, see “How the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Applies to Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students”
In some states, people with low income may qualify for hearing aids through Medicaid. People with higher income may temporarily qualify for assistance with medical expenses, including hearing aids, through the “medically needy program” administered by the county social service agency. Look in the Government section of the telephone book under County Social Services, and request an appointment to determine your eligibility for Medicaid.
Prospective and current college students and other people of working age may qualify for financial assistance for hearing aids, assistive technology, and other rehabilitative services from state vocational rehabilitation agencies. If you are working but concerned you may lose your job because of your hearing loss, you may be eligible for services on that basis.
Veterans of military service may qualify for assistance with hearing aids and other rehabilitative services; contact the medical facility for the appropriate branch of the military.
Reduced cost assistive listening systems for retired and active-duty military service members and their families
In an effort to improve the quality of life for those who serve our country, Williams Sound has proudly teamed with the Military Audiology Association to offer the RALD program to both retired and active-duty military service members and their families. The RALD program was created to provide these individuals access to assistive listening devices (ALDs) at a reduced cost, along with free personalized telephone support. For more information on RALD, please visit www.williamssound.com/RALD or www.militaryaudiology.org
- Veterans Now Eligible for Telecommunications Equipment from Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. New program provides equipment for military veterans living with hearing or speech loss. Adaptive telecommunications equipment, including text telephones (TTY), captioned telephones (CapTel) and other devices are available to individuals who meet certain qualifications. To learn more about VDDHH, Virginia Relay and TAP for veterans, call 1-800-552-7917 v/tty or visit www.vddhh.org.
- Reduced cost assistive listening systems for retired and active-duty military service members and their families
State telephone equipment programs can be found via www.tedpa.org. These programs vary quite widely in what they provide and what their eligibility requirements are, but some provide free or low-cost telephone equipment to eligible residents.
Local agencies serving hard of hearing and/or deaf people may also know about local hearing aid banks and other resources, such as clinics that provide services on a sliding scale basis according to income, state assistive technology loan programs, and state financial assistance programs for children with disabilities.
- Some states may also have hearing aid loan programs. For example, the Kansas Infant/Toddler Hearing Aid Loan Bank is a short-term hearing aid loan program for children up to three years old who have been newly identified with a hearing loss. View their brochure for more information.
In many situations, organizations, government agencies, educational institutions, and employers are required by federal or state law to provide auxiliary aids and services for communication access (but not hearing aids). Some of these situations are: employers with 15 or more employees, hotels, hospitals, senior centers and residential facilities. If you are inquiring about communication assistance in one of these situations, call the Disability and Business Technical Assistance Center at (800) 949-4232 (V/TTY) for more information or visit their website at www.adata.org.
- State assistive technology programs may provide temporary loans of equipment, loans for purchasing equipment, information and referral services—and demonstration centers. To find out more about your own state’s programs, click on “Resources” at www.resna.org and then click on “AT Act Programs.”
The following are national or state resources for assistance:
An affiliate of the Northwest Lions Foundation for Sight & Hearing
EPIC Hearing Healthcare
BETTER HEARING INSTITUTE
Financial Assistance Guide
1444 I Street, NW, Suite 700
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 449-1100 Voice
(202) 216-9646 Fax
CHILDREN OF THE SILENT WORLD
Assists low-income children with purchasing hearing aids.
P.O. Box 2425
Cridersville, OH 45806
DISABLED CHILDREN’S RELIEF FUND
Provides assistance to families of children with disabilities, with preference for children with physical disabilities and little or no health insurance.
P.O. Box 89
Freeport, New York 11520
(516) 377-1605 Voice
(516) 377-3978 Fax
DOROTHY AMES TRUST FUND
Assists children in New England states with hearing aids and assistive technology.
Christine L. Cook, Assistant Vice President Trust Officer
Key Trust Company of Maine
P.O. Box 1054
Augusta, ME 04332-1054
(207) 623-5527 Voice
(207) 623-5662 Fax
Over 400 local service centers with varying services; some assist low-income adults and children with hearing aids and other rehabilitative devices.
230 West Monroe Street, Suite 1800
Chicago, IL 60606
(312) 726-6200 Voice
(312) 726-4258 TTY
(312) 726-1494 Fax
FOUNDATION FOR SIGHT & SOUND
The Foundation for Sight & Sound has partnered with EarQ Group to provide hearing aids to individuals with limited financial resources.
P.O. Box 1245
Smithtown, NY 11787
GEORGIA HEARING AID DISTRIBUTION PROGRAM
The Georgia Hearing Aid Distribution Program, enacted by the Georgia Legislature, provides hearing aids to Georgians, subject to eligibility requirements. The Commission has contracted with the Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation, a nonprofit organization that has provided hearing aids to low-income Georgians for over 30 years.
5582 Peachtree Road
Atlanta, GA 30341
(404) 325-3630 Voice
1-800-718-7483 Voice - Outside Metro Atlanta
(404) 636-5549 Fax
GIFT OF HEARING FOUNDATION
Working closely with the medical community, the Gift of Hearing Foundation will provide financial support to help a select number of economically disadvantaged patients receive cochlear implants. Can provide financial assistance to those whose insurance coverage will not provide for the cost of CI Implants.
Provides recycled and used hearing aids to low-income persons.
6700 Washington Avenue South
Eden Prairie, MN 55344
Helping low income people break the barrier of the high cost of hearing aids - by providing quality new and used hearing aids at a very affordable price. Financial assistance available.
33 E Idaho Ave #200
Meridian, ID 83642
HELP KIDS HEAR.org
Founded by parents of hard of hearing kids and is dedicated to helping parents find the information and resources they need in dealing with a deaf/hard of hearing (DHH) child.
HIKE FUND, INC.
Provides low-income children from birth up to the age of twenty years with hearing aids and assistive devices. (Supported by Job's Daughters International)
HOPE FOR HEARING FOUNDATION AND HEARING AID BANK
(has moved to JOHN TRACY CLINIC)
Offers hope, guidance and encouragement to families of infants and preschool children with hearing losses by providing free, parent-centered services worldwide.
806 West Adams Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90007-2505
(213) 748-5481 Voice
(213) 749-1651 Fax
(213) 747-2924 TTY
Toll-free in U.S: (800) 522-4582
LIONS CLUB INTERNATIONAL
Assists low income individuals with purchasing hearing aids.
MIRACLE EAR CHILDREN’S FUND
Assists low-income children and families with purchases of hearing aids from this manufacturer. For Minnesota residents only.
P.O. Box 59261
Minneapolis, MN 55459-0261
(763) 268-4295 Fax
Provides aids and services to hearing impaired youth.
Optimist International Youth Program
Help Them Hear Program
Contact your local Optimist Club
Assists low-income persons with purchasing hearing aids.
1912 East Meyer Boulevard
Kansas City, MO 64132-9990
(816) 333-8300 Voice
(816) 333-4320 Fax
STARKEY HEARING FOUNDATION
Assistance for low-income individuals permanently residing in the U.S. with no other resources to acquire hearing aids.
6700 Washington Avenue South
Eden Prairie , MN 55344
800-328-8602 (voice-ask for Hear Now)
(952) 947-4997 Fax
TRAVELERS PROTECTIVE ASSOCIATION SCHOLARSHIP TRUST FOR THE DEAF AND NEAR-DEAF
Provides assistance for mechanical devices, medical care, and/or specialized education or treatment, to those who demonstrate financial need. U.S. citizens only. Grants may be used to purchase hearing aids, assistive listening equipment, or may help with the cost of a cochlear implant.
3755 Lindell Boulevard
St. Louis, MO 63108
(314) 371-0533 Voice
(314) 371-0537 Fax
Website: http://www.tpahq.org (click on “Scholarship Trust” link under Community)
UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND HEARING AND SPEECH CLINIC
Provides speech-language therapy, hearing evaluations, and aural rehabilitation services to the community at reasonable fees. NOTE: This is one example of a university that offers these services. Check universities in your area with hearing and speech clinics, they may offer similar services.
Many of your local civic organizations, such as the Kiwanis, may be able to provide financial assistance to purchase or acquire hearing aids and other assistive devices. Check your local phone directories or the Chamber of Commerce for a listing of civic organizations in your area.