In this blog, we are going to take you through the changes to the PRSI grant system in Ireland and explain how you can essentially get free hearing aids, up to the value of €1,000. Grants for hearing aids are provided for under Treatment Benefit provisions of the Social Welfare Acts for insured persons. The scheme for administration of treatment benefit comes under the remit of the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.
The Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys, recently signed a Statutory Instrument - (S.I. No. 77 of 2021) giving effect to changes to the current Treatment Benefit Scheme for hearing aids. The maximum grant remains at €500 per hearing aid and the maximum repair grant at €100, however, since Saturday 27th March 2021 the requirement for the customer to match the grant given with their own funding has been removed.
If a contributor or their dependent is eligible, hearing aids may be provided under the scheme by suppliers who have a contract with the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection. Audiology Medical Services is a panel member with the Department.
Here at Audiology Medical Services, we are thrilled with these welcome changes made by the government. It means that where cost may previously have been a barrier to treating a client’s hearing loss, Audiology Medical Services are now in a position to offer ‘Free Hearing Tests’ and ‘Free Hearing Aids’ to our clients that are eligible.
These changes should make hearing aids a lot more accessible to a large proportion of people in Ireland. This means all our hearing aids €1,000 and under are fully covered by your PRSI contributions and essentially completely free if you qualify for the grant! If the cost of your hearing aids is over €1000, you only need to pay the balance. Previously, there was a requirement for the customer to pay 50% of the cost of hearing aids, but thankfully this has now been removed.
Similarly, with hearing aid repairs, costs of up to €100 will be fully covered. If the cost of the repair is over €100 the patient will again just need to pay the balance.
There are now more people than ever eligible for a hearing aid grant. Those who are employed, self-employed, or retired are all eligible providing they or their spouse/civil partner have the required amount of PRSI contributions. Medical Card holders are also likely to have the required PRSI contributions, which means you too could be entitled to a free pair of hearing aids.
We can check your PRSI grant eligibility ourselves here at Audiology Medical Services. Just give us a call today on our freephone number 1800 501 501 or fill out the form here: grant-aid
The prevalence of hearing loss among Irish people of all ages is steadily rising, a fact that really does not get the attention it merits. Untreated hearing loss can impact directly on an individual’s communication ability, constrain development in children, lead to limitations in everyday activities and even restrict personal and social participation. Only one in five adults in Ireland who report fair or poor hearing, actually use a hearing aid. We are hoping these changes will make hearing aids more accessible to people and encourage more to get their hearing tested.
With clinics nationwide and with no ties to any one manufacturer, here at Audiology Medical Services we have the luxury of offering each client a hearing solution that suits them best and specifically targets their needs. From more sophisticated state-of-the-art instruments to budget-friendly options, we will guide and educate each client through their selection process. To find out more about the services offered by Audiology Medical Services go to www.audiologymedicalservices.ie or freephone 1800 501 501.