Seniors Outreach - August 30, 2017

I am in need of some hearing aids. My doctor says so, my wife says so, and so do my kids. My friends, well, maybe them to. What do I do to get some help? Financially that is. Welcome to the world of Alberta Aids to Daily Living (AADL). This wonderful program has been set up to assist Albertans with a long term disability, chronic illness or terminal illness in maintaining independence in their community through the provision of basic medical equipment and supplies to meet their clinically assessed needs. And yes, do not despair – this includes hearing aids.

What is key to this hearing aid assistance is

1. Contacting AADL by phone at 310-0000 and when asked, dial in 780-427-0731; for Deaf or hard of hearing with TDD/TTY units dial 1-800-232-7215; or Fax at 780-422-0968. If in doubt, you may call Health Link Alberta at 811 to obtain direction and information.

2. Asking about Cost-share or Cost-share exemption STATUS (usually based on income from the previous year (e.g. Income for 2016 – Check your Alberta Supports letter from July, 2017 as this indicates the 2016 income that they are using – often line 150 of the 2016 income tax you filed). In the cost-share program you are required to pay 25% of the APPROVED benefit amount up to a maximum contribution of $500 per individual in a family per benefit year – July 1 to June 30.

3. Depending upon which STATUS you are: AADL will provide up to $900/hearing aid or $1200/hearing aid.

4. You should then ask about a vendor in your area who can provide the assessment, forms and the hearing aid(s) that you need; or go on your computer and look up http://www.health.alberta.ca/services/aids-to-daily-living.html and check any listing that they may have for vendors.

NOTE: Only the hearing aid vendors listed are able to supply these government supported AADL hearing aids. Others may not be able to access the program for financial assistance. Ask AADL about any particular vendors you know about.

5. If you wish to upgrade – you will need to be aware that you will be responsible to pay for the upgrades and that these upgrade costs are not included in the $500 cost-share maximum.

6. Recognize that you are eligible for this support if you:

(a) Require benefits due to a long-term disability or terminal illness;

(b) Are an Alberta resident with a valid Alberta Personal Health Care Number

(c) Have been assessed by a healthcare professional (e.g. nurse, occupational therapist, audiologist, respiratory therapist) who is also an AADL approved Authorizer or Specialty Assessor

(d) Meet specific eligibility criteria for the recommended benefit.

7. Recognize that you may not be eligible if you are able/eligible to receive the same benefits through another source – Workers’ Compensation, Private Insurance Plan, Veterans affairs or Non-Insured Health Benefits for First Nations and Inuit.

Once you have been assessed by an AADL Authorizer, you will be provided with a list of up to three AADL approved vendors from which to obtain medical equipment or supplies. Usually, Specialty Suppliers do both assessment and supplying of the benefit. Hearing Aids are listed under Specialty Assessment and Supply.

This program does require a bit of patient interaction, however, it is a strong step towards hearing and after all, that’s what the doctor, wife, kids and also your friends really want for you!

Should you require some assistance with this contact step, do not hesitate to see us at Seniors Outreach for direction.

(Information for this article based upon Brochure AADL 1211 (2016/03)