Saturday, 17 January 2015

Pocket Hearing Aids For Deaf People

People who are deaf and hard of hearing must often pay out-of-pocket for aids and equipment that are not generally covered by insurance. This can create financial difficulties for people who need such aids to help them. As a result, people with hearing loss, their families, and the professionals who work with them must spend considerable time trying to find financial assistance for purchasing hearing aids and other assistive devices.

There are resources available to help defray the cost of these devices. However, locating such resources can be challenging for many people. In response to the many questions received on this topic, we have surveyed centers serving deaf and hard of hearing people in selected states throughout the United States, in search of agencies, organizations, and programs that may be able to provide hearing aids, TTYs, decoders, and other devices free or at reduced rates. This resource list is the result of our survey.

Please note that not all of the agencies, organizations, or programs are found in every state. You will have to do some preliminary work to find out which of the organizations and programs on the following list are active in your area. Use your local telephone directory to find the telephone numbers for these organizations and contact them concerning specific services and eligibility requirements. Criteria for eligibility and conditions for obtaining needed devices will vary from state to state.

ITC Hearing Aid are the most common devices needed by deaf and hard of hearing people. In certain instances, some of the agencies listed can provide new or reconditioned aids free of charge or at reduced rates. Other agencies may offer assistance in obtaining these aids. In some states, Medicaid will help cover the cost of purchasing a hearing aid. Check with your health insurance company regarding its policy coverage for hearing aids. You may also wish to contact the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) for information on insurance coverage of hearing aids and related service. ASHA keeps abreast of current developments and change in the coverage of hearing health care expenses by private insurance, Medicaid, and Medicare. 

Sources of Assistance
Rehabilitation Service Administration: Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) will provide service for VR clients who meet eligibility requirements. Assistance with hearing aids and devices may be provided to clients who need such devices to secure or retain employment.

U.S. Veterans Administration: All World War I veterans are eligible to receive free hearing aids. Other veterans can receive free hearing aids if their hearing loss is at least 50 percent service-related. Veterans must first contact a V.A. medical facility near their home. The veteran’s health care act provides free TeleCaption decoders to veterans who have profound hearing loss that is service-related. The V.A. will also provide TTYs and telephone amplification devices to veterans with service-related hearing loss.

Civic/Service Organizations: Many community service organizations receive charitable donations to purchase hearing aids and other devices for low income deaf and hard of hearing people. Clubs often recondition hearing aids and donate them to needy individuals. Many of these organizations are listed in your telephone directory.

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