Alternative Hearing Assistance Supplement

Overview

The ministry may provide a monthly alternative hearing assistance supplement to assist eligible persons to meet costs associated with overcoming barriers related to having permanent profound bilateral hearing loss. 

The alternative hearing assistance supplement is available under the Employment and Assistance (EA) Regulation and Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities (EAPWD) Regulation.

Other programs and resources:

Supports and Services – Assistive Technology

Information regarding other supports and services, including resources for assistive technology, can be found on the Supports & Services website.

WorkBC and Technology@Work

People with disabilities can access assistive technologies through WorkBC to help them find a job, or if they need a piece of equipment to keep working at their current job. WorkBC provides employment related:

  • assistive devices, equipment and technology
  • communication and hearing devices
  • ergonomic supports and other personal devices
  • interpreting and captioning services
  • workplace access and modification

More information on WorkBC services and supports for persons with disabilities can be found here: Work BC Advice for PWD.

Technology@Work supports individuals that need assistive technology products and services to overcome disability-related barriers in the workplace. 

More information on Technology@ Work can be found here: BC Technology@work

Policy

Effective: September 1, 2017

The alternative hearing assistance supplement is available to clients who are eligible for general health supplements [see Additional Resources - Health Supplement Summary].

The alternative hearing assistance supplement is also available to children who are eligible for the Healthy Kids Program [see Related Links – Healthy Kids].

The alternative hearing assistance supplement may be provided to an eligible person if all of the following criteria are met:

  • The ministry is satisfied that:
    • the person has permanent profound hearing loss in both ears, and
    • the person cannot significantly benefit from a hearing instrument for the purpose of speech comprehension
  • An audiologist or a hearing instrument practitioner registered with the College of Speech and Hearing Health Professionals of BC, within the last 12 months, has:
    • performed an assessment to confirm permanent profound hearing loss in both ears, and
    • provided an opinion that the person cannot significantly benefit from a hearing instrument for the purpose of speech comprehension

The alternative hearing assistance supplement may not be provided if the person received a hearing instrument from the ministry under the medical equipment hearing instrument supplement, or from another source, in the previous 36 months, unless an audiologist or hearing instrument practitioner has confirmed that the person has developed permanent profound hearing loss in both ears since receiving the hearing instrument. 

The amount provided under the supplement is listed in the Rate Table: Health Supplements and Programs.

Effective:  September 1, 2017

Hearing assessment services may be provided either through the regional health authority or through private service providers.

Wherever available, the person should access the regional health authority hearing clinic. In communities where this clinic is not available, the person should be referred to the audiology department of the nearest hospital providing this service.

If health authority hearing services are unavailable, the person may access a local service provider who is an audiologist or a hearing instrument practitioner registered with the College of Speech and Hearing Health Professionals of BC. The person do not require a referral from their medical practitioner to obtain hearing services from a private service provider.

Procedures

 

Assessing Eligibility

Effective:  September 1, 2017

To assess eligibility follow these steps:

EAW

1.

Confirm that the applicant is eligible for general health supplements or the Healthy Kids Program [see Additional Resources – Health Supplement Summary and Related Links - Healthy Kids].

 

2.

Provide the Request for Alternative Hearing Assistance Supplement (HR3660) form, with Part A completed.

 

3.

Advise the applicant to complete Part B, and have Part C completed by an audiologist or hearing instrument practitioner and request an audiological assessment. 

 

4.

Once all of the documentation has been received, forward the Service Request and all documents to Health Assistance (HA) for adjudication.

HAB

1.

Review request and determine eligibility.

 

2.

Notify recipient of eligibility decision in writing.

 

Note: All alternative hearing assistance supplement requests must be submitted with an assessment from an audiologist or a hearing instrument practitioner registered with the College of Speech and Hearing Health Professionals of BC, within the last 12 months to confirm permanent profound hearing loss in both ears.

Authorities and Responsibilities

Effective:  September 1, 2017

Health Assistance (HA) is responsible for:

  • Assessing eligibility for the alternative hearing assistance supplement
  • Advising the person of the eligibility decision

Employment and Assistance Worker is responsible for:

  • Upon request, providing a request for reconsideration