This post is to raise awareness of the support available to those who are not managing with their NHS hearing aids. Dependent on your situation (work, college or university), there are ways to get funding for private hearing aids with a technology level and/or accessories that will provide superior hearing ability in situations such as lectures, on the phone or in noise. First step is to get NHS hearing aids, as no one will provide support unless you have tried them already and found them lacking.
For students, you should approach the disability tutor at college, or complete the relevant section on disabilities during your Student Loan application.
For workers - and this includes self employed or business owners - you need to apply for an Access To Work assessment here:
They send someone out to assess your problems and will recommend the technology you need. If you only need accessories they may provide them, but if you can demonstrate that the NHS aids are unable to meet your needs, they will recommend private aids. They will ask for a contribution, such as 2/7 of the cost for a full time worker, for your private usage/benefit; this means a whopping 5/7 off the cost of private aids.
If you are having problems hearing on the phone, for instance, and the reasonable adjustments provided by work (such as an amplifier on the line) are still leaving you struggling, apply. If you are not following meetings or you can’t hear colleagues in your noisy office, apply!
We can provide hearing aids that connect direct to your phone, giving you the call in stereo, for instance. We can provide mics and exceptional speech in noise enhancement that can keep you performing at your best in work.
This fund is there for you, and if you are struggling you are entitled to help. Many hard of hearing people think it’s not for them, or it’s for ‘really disabled people’. While it’s good to maintain a can-do attitude and not let disability set you back, believe me you are paying taxes (or working toward a qualification that will enable you to earn and pay tax) and this is there to help people like you.
Hearing and Tinnitus Care accepts Access to Work payment and can support you by ensuring that the assessor makes the right equipment decision for you and you get top notch support with fitting and aftercare to make the most of your new system.