If you don’t experience any problems with your hearing, then you are one of the fortunate people who probably don’t give your hearing much thought. But if you are one of the 12 million people in just the UK alone who have hearing loss, then you know all too well what a huge impact that loss of hearing can have on your quality of life.
With the number of people with hearing problems expected to rocket over the next decade, it’s important you know what help and benefits are available for people like you with hearing loss.
If you suspect that your hearing has deteriorated, whether gradually or sudden, you should book a hearing test with a licensed hearing care professional. Once your hearing has been evaluated, your audiologist may recommend a hearing aid. Your hearing care professional will be able to provide you with more information on hearing tests, but if you usually qualify for NHS treatment, then you should be able to receive a free hearing aid on the NHS. However, your options for hearing aid models will be limited and there will likely be a waiting list. If you choose to go private, then you will have a larger choice of hearing aids available to you.
If you have been diagnosed as having hearing loss, then there are some hearing loss disability benefits which you may be able to claim. These types of benefits largely depend on your specific circumstances and the severity of your hearing loss. If it affects your day-to-day life, then you are more likely to be eligible for financial support.
If you are of retirement age and have disabilities, such as severe hearing loss or deafness, then you may be eligible to claim:
If, however, you are of working age, then you could be entitled to claim:
If you are on a low income, you will likely be able to claim Working Tax Credit on top of what you earn. There is also the Access to Work scheme which can help you pay for the cost of traveling.
If you need specific assistive products to help with your work or studies, you should contact your local council’s sensory service. They may be able to provide you with equipment, whether for free or on loan, or provide you with funding to pay for it. You will likely need a referral from your hearing specialist that specifies the type of equipment you need.
Regardless of your age, there are a number of additional disability benefits that you may be able to claim. These include:
You may also be exempt from paying VAT on certain items and services, as long as you are only using them for your personal use. It’s important to remember that certain benefits can be means tested. Similarly, there may be certain restrictions if you have savings.
If your hearing loss is a result of being exposed to noise in your job or an accident at work, you may be entitled to claim Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit. Whether you decide to claim this benefit, you may also be eligible for compensation through the civil courts for your work-induced hearing loss. However, you must claim within three years of when your industrial accident happened or when your occupational deafness started.
If your hearing loss or deafness was caused by armed forces service, then you can be eligible for compensation from the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS). This can be a monthly payment or one lump sum.
Hearing loss is a serious problem that can have a considerable impact on your mental and physical health, personal relationships, career and earning potential. While there is free treatment available, there is also a range of benefits that you may qualify that are designed to help alleviate some of the stress and financial pressure that can accompany hearing loss.
It's time to finally treat your hearing loss. Sign up for a free consultation with a licensed hearing care professional today to determine if you have hearing loss. It’s the start of your journey towards better hearing.