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Fact Sheet #3 - Hearing Aid Funding Information For Children and Adults

Medicare and Medicaid do not usually buy hearing aids for low -income adults.

If under 65 and working or you need a hearing aid in order to maintain employment or need assistance to have an employer provide accommodations, you can contact your local Delaware Department of Labor, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation office.

Hearing Aid Funding Sources for Low Income Individuals

1. New Eyes for the Needy (eyeglasses and hearing aids)- provides vouchers for the purchase of new prescription eyeglasses and hearing aids for some people.
    549 Millburn Avenue
    P.O. Box 332
    Short Hills, NJ 07078-0332
    Phone: (973) 376-4903

2. Nemours Health Clinic - 302-651-4400

3. Lions Club Affordable Hearing Aid Project - Your local club is a good place to start (Lions are now emphasizing hearing loss).

4. Wilmington Hospital, audiology department at 428-2286 May have used hearing aids and other resources.

5. Starkey Hearing Foundation
    6700 Washington Ave.
    South Eden Prairie, MN 55344
    800-648-HEAR(4327) (Voice - Toll-free)
    952-947-4903 (Voice)
    952-828-6946 (FAX)

6. 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% service-related.

Veterans must first contact the Wilmington VA hospital in Elsmere or call the VA benefits office or contact one of their services organizations like the American Legion or Paralyzed Veterans of America.

The Veterans Health Care Act provides free TeleCaption decoders to veterans who have a profound hearing loss that is service-related.

The VA will also provide TTYs and telephone amplification devices to veterans with service-related hearing loss. You can also go online to or web sites.

7. WSM (Wounded Service Members) Initiative Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program CAP provides needs assessments, assistive technology, and training to our nation’s wounded service members throughout all phases of recovery and the transition to employment   8. 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. You can look in the yellow pages and also under non-profit organizations in the yellow pages or call the Delaware Helpline at 800-464-4357 and they will help you locate them.

The following are several organizations that typically offer this type of assistance:
    National Easter Seal Society
    March of Dimes
    Telephone Pioneers of America
    Lions International
    Kiwanis Clubs
    Rotary Clubs
    Sertoma Clubs
    Optimist Clubs
    Sorority and Fraternity Service Organizations
    Quota Club

9. HEAR NOW (Children and adults)
    9745 East Hampden Avenue, #300
    Denver, CO 80231
    (303) 695-4327 V/TTY
    (800) 648-HEAR V/TTY
    (303) 695-7789 FAX

10. Miracle-Ear Children's Foundation
    P.O. Box 59261
    Minneapolis, MN 55459-0261

Please Note:
1) Used hearing aids are also a good, low cost alternative and if they can obtain a copy of the person's audiogram, they can call different hearing aid dispensers in the telephone book and see if they will sell them a used behind the ear aid (BTE) and just make a new mold.

2) Many states offer hearing aid assistance to children and adults, especially seniors. For example, Nebraska has a model program.

Delaware has a whole Division for the Visually Impaired, which ensures that almost no Delawarean goes without the maximum vision possible.

However, there is no Division for the Hearing Impaired and the Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Delaware has only one full time information and referral person, technically she is a Public Information Officer and that is Loretta Sarro.

The Office does not have any programs or services for people with hearing loss.

11. Audient Hearing Aid Alliance Program
221 Yale Ave N, Suite 450
Seattle, WA 98109
1-877-283-4368 -- Toll Free 1-206-838-7195 - Fax

Eligibility for his program is linked to the federal government's poverty guide income qualification tied to 250% of the federal poverty guideline.

At today's federal poverty level at $10,400/year an income of $26,000 or less would qualify an applicant for a fully digital behind-the-ear hearing aid and services.

Applicants will be interviewed by an Audient representative and there are hearing care providers that participate throughout the United States.

This program is a partnership with the Northwest Hearing Care, an affiliate of the Northwest Lions Foundation for Sight and Hearing.

12. Children's Variety Club -
     Meghan Evans, Delaware Program Director
     Variety Club-Children's Charity
     2711 Centerville Rd, Suite 108
     Wilmington, DE 19808
     (302) 993-0896

This organization helps purchase new hearing aids and assistive technology for qualified children.

13. Oticon Pediatric Hearing Aid Loaner Pending Cochlear Implant Program Oticon Pediatrics has unveiled a program designed to assist hearing care professionals in providing care for infants and toddlers newly identified with hearing loss.

The Loaner Bank provides hearing instruments for a 3-month period to children under the age of 3 while arrangements for third-party reimbursement are secured or while cochlear implant evaluation is underway.

A range of Oticon hearing instruments will be offered. An EarGear hearing aid retention device will be provided with each loaner hearing instrument order.

To utilize the Loaner Bank, hearing care professionals must have an Oticon account and complete a one-time application to participate in the program. Upon acceptance, practitioners must verify they have completed training on Oticon fitting software and the available loaner hearing instruments.

Hearing care professionals must also submit a request form for each child requesting hearing aids. There is no fee to participate in the program.

For more information about the Oticon Pediatrics Loaner Bank Program, contact Maureen Doty-Tomasula at or phone 888-OTI-PED1 (1-888-684-7331).  

14. Information from the National Hearing Loss Association Web Site. Please visit this page at the HLADE National site for additional information about financial assistance for hearing aids and hearing assistive technology.

15. International Hearing Society. The members of the International Hearing Society provide services for the testing, selection, and fitting of hearing aids as well as on-going follow up care and counseling.  IHS maintains a Hearing Aid Helpline which, they state, assists hundreds of families each year.

16. Employee Health Care Flexible Spending Account Employee health care flexible spending account (FSA) for employees of the company you work for allows members to purchase hearing aids with pre-tax dollars, which depending upon one's tax bracket, can provide a good discount to the typical retail purchase price of a hearing aid. Check with your Human Resources Office and see if your company offers this benefit

17: Hearing Aid Loan Bank Program for children younger than 18 years old The Delaware Newborn Hearing Screening (DNHS) Program at the DHSS Division of Public Health has the Hearing Aid Loan Bank Program for children less than 18 years old. Contact Janae Aglio, Hearing Program Coordinator, (302) 744-4544 or .

More information on Hearing Aid Loan Bank Program is available Here

18: DE HB 355 – health insurance for hearing aids coverage Delaware House Bill 355 (144th General Assembly) required individuals and group health contracts to provide coverage for hearing aids of up to $1,000 per ear, every three years, for covered dependent 24 years of age or less. It excludes batteries, cords, and other assistive listening devices such as FM system.

HB 355 is available Here

19: Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. If a person needs a hearing aid to obtain or maintain a job, the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) may help after it is determined that the individual is eligible for DVR services. There is audiological criteria and also, DVR is now on “Order of Selection” so the DVR federal regulations specify that people with certain medical conditions now havea a priority for DVR services. When in doubt, we suggest you contact DVR at (302) 761-8275.

20. Independent Living Program. If the person has a significant disability and is not able to go to work, the individual may be eligible for assistance under DVR’s Independent Living program.

DVR does have financial criteria which may come into play; depending on a number of factors, the individual may need to contribute to the purchase of the hearing aid(s). However, there is usually a waiting list for services. The contact number for the Independent Living Program is< or call- (302) 378-5779 X112.

21: Medicade. iMedicaid will pay for hearing aids in some limited cases if there "medical" cause is the primary reason for the hearing loss. Meeting the Medicaid criteria may be difficult. For further assistance call Hearing Loss Association of Delaware, Inc at 302-292-3066 (V/relay) or email HLADE at HLADE is a tax-exempt, non-profit consumer-driven organization which helps children and adults with hearing loss.

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