Financial Guide for the Deaf and Hard Of Hearing

Financial assistance is not the only thing that the deaf and hard of hearing need to feel comfortable and confident in society. However, without such help, it will be difficult for them to achieve equal chances with others. Communication is an important component of human interaction in modern societies. And since verbal communication is one of its main types, people with hearing problems would have less chance of success without additional financial help. To equalize opportunities for the deaf and hard of hearing with the rest of society, public and private agencies offer various financial assistance programs to this group of population.

What Financial Assistance Is Available for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing?

Individuals with total or partial hearing loss may apply for financial programs at both the state and federal levels.

SSDI: Social Security Disability Insurance 

This allowance is paid to those whose illness prevents them from working for at least the next year and possibly for the rest of their lives. The applicant must be younger than retirement age but must have worked long enough to be approved by the commission.

SSI: Supplemental Security Income

This type of assistance is offered to people with low incomes if they also have limited physical abilities. Unlike the previous program, participation in this program is provided for persons who have reached the age of 65. However, if the applicant has a proven disability, he or she may receive financial assistance before the age of 65. To get it earlier, applicants must submit relevant medical documents.

Help from State Agencies

Departments and commissions for people with hearing loss also function at the state level. They provide comprehensive care for deaf and hard-of-hearing people, which may include:

  • Education
  • Employment
  • Advocacy
  • Medical rehabilitation
  • Interpreting services
  • Provision of hearing aids
  • Assistive technology

Medicaid

People with limited incomes and hearing loss may be eligible for different forms of assistance through Medicaid. Since it is funded simultaneously from the federal and state budgets, the list of services provided in each state varies. Children under 21 years of age can receive the diagnosis and treatment of diseases associated with hearing loss, as well as the provision of hearing aids. The same applies to programs for adults:

  • Rehabilitation therapy
  • Audiological testing
  • Provision and repair of hearing aids
  • Cochlear implant services

RALD: Hearing Aids for Military Pensioners

The RALD program was developed to help military pensioners and their families compensate for hearing loss. Within its framework, hearing aids are provided at a discount, which allows purchasing more advanced and highly functional models.

TEDP: Telecommunication Equipment Distribution Programs Association 

Persons with hearing loss may qualify for telephone equipment with additional sound amplification features. The program works at the state level and, therefore, may have certain nuances in each of them. Telephone equipment is provided free of charge or at a discount.

The financial programs offered to the deaf and hard of hearing cover all age groups. Therefore, if the applicant is not eligible for one of them, they need to pay attention to the alternative. Assistance also ranges from hearing aid battery replacements to monthly allowances to meet the minimum consumer basket. Carefully review the eligibility requirements for each program and apply for the one that best suits your needs.