Rapid City Journal , SD
November 23, 2014
PIERRE | The South Dakota Department of Human Services (DHS) has launched a program to provide financial assistance for the purchase of hearing aids for children.
DHS is prepared to begin accepting applications for services for the new Hearing Aid Assistance Program. The aim of the program is to promote the healthy development of South Dakota children who are hard of hearing and would benefit from hearing aids by providing financial assistance.
“Hearing loss may cause problems in language development and the educational and social growth in a child,” said DHS Secretary Gloria Pearson. “In addition, many health insurance plans do not cover hearing aids. This means families often incur the entire cost of hearing aids for children.”
The Hearing Aid Assistance Program will help purchase hearing aids and associated ear molds for South Dakota children, younger than 19, with progressive or permanent hearing loss who would benefit from hearing aids. The individual must not have received a hearing aid from this program or S.D. Medicaid within three years prior to the date of application. The program is open to families with a household income of less than 400 percent of federal poverty guidelines, and it operates on a sliding-fee schedule, contributing anywhere from half to the entire cost.
The Hearing Aid Assistance Program will begin accepting applications Dec. 1. Applications will be available online at dhs.sd.gov, can be picked up at many audiologist offices across the state, or can be mailed upon request by calling 800-265-9684.
“The DRS Hearing Aid Assistance Program has the potential to help a lot of South Dakota children with hearing loss and their families,” said DRS Director Eric Weiss. “We are pleased to be able to help fill a need that has been identified in South Dakota.”
The South Dakota Department of Human Services’ mission is to enhance the quality of life of people with disabilities, in partnership with its stakeholders, through the programs and services offered by its divisions. Learn more by visiting the department’s website, dhs.sd.gov, and viewing the DHS Strategic Plan.