Senior Mobility Fund for Hearing Aids: What to Do if You Don’t Qualify for the Subsidy

May 31, 2023

Commonly known as the Senior Mobility Fund (SMF), the Seniors’ Mobility and Enabling Fund is a subsidy scheme designed to support elderly Singaporeans through their golden years. Those above the age of 60 years old can receive financial assistance on assistive and mobility devices and home healthcare items such as wheelchairs, adult diapers and even hearing aids.

If you’re planning to apply for the SMF on your hearing aid device, read on for the subsidies you can receive under this scheme, the application journey and what to do if you don’t qualify for the SMF. Also, find answers to your frequently asked questions below!

Hearing Aid Subsidies with the Senior Mobility Fund

The Agency for Integrated Care (AIC) is the provider of the SMF. They define assistive and mobility devices as devices, apparatus or equipment that enable elderly individuals to move about or perform their Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)¹ better.

Based on this definition, hearing aids are categorised as assistive devices. As such, seniors can obtain subsidies of up to 90% of the cost of the hearing aid or up to 90% of the maximum subsidy cap on the device, whichever is lower.

The Application Journey: Senior Mobility Fund for Hearing Aids

Senior Mobility Fund for Hearing Aids application journey

Before applying for the SMF for your hearing aid device, you may want to learn more about the application journey and the options available to you.

  • Stage 1: Subsidy application

Your application journey will begin at the hospital, where you’ll take a subsidised hearing assessment with an audiologist. Subsequently, the audiologist will assist you with your application for the scheme.

Note: Hearing Partners does not provide services to assist with the application of the SMF.

  • Stage 2: Application results

Your application will be reviewed by the relevant parties and you’ll be notified of the results. If you’re eligible for the scheme, you’ll receive a subsidy on the device. However, what happens if you don’t qualify for the SMF?

  • Stage 3: Public vs private clinic

If you don’t qualify for the SMF, you may choose to purchase a hearing aid from the hospital at a non-subsidised rate of $3,000. Alternatively, you may opt to continue your journey with a private clinic like Hearing Partners.

Differences between purchasing a hearing aid from a public or private clinic

Hearing aids available

The hospitals in Singapore carry a range of renowned hearing aid brands including Oticon, Signia and Phonak.

At Hearing Partners, our selection of Oticon hearing aids is similar to that which is offered at hospitals. Thus, you can rest assured of the quality of the device. In addition to Oticon, we also carry hearing aids from Rexton.

Follow-up appointments

While it may seem that your journey stops once you get your hearing aid, that isn’t the case! Follow-up appointments are an essential part of your hearing aid journey as they allow you to check on the condition of your device.

If you purchase a hearing aid from the hospital, you’ll be charged a fee for follow-up appointments. This typically costs $100 (excluding GST).

On the other hand, when you purchase a hearing aid from Hearing Partners, you can enjoy complimentary follow-up appointments with our audiologists. During these appointments, the audiologist will check on your device and ensure that it’s working well. You may also raise concerns or questions about your device so they can be addressed promptly.

If necessary, your audiologist can run through some key details about how to use and maintain your hearing aids.

Waiting time for appointments

Oftentimes, the waiting time to get an appointment at the hospital may be long – it can take anywhere from 3 to 6 months. This can be troubling especially when you run into problems with your hearing aid.

With Hearing Partners, you can schedule an appointment within 1 week so any urgent issues can be addressed as quickly as possible.

Upgrade promotions

As hearing aids with new technologies and features are released, you may be interested in upgrading your device. Additionally, as your needs may change over time, you may find yourself in need of a different or more advanced device.

To address your changing needs and preferences, Hearing Partners offers promotions on hearing aid upgrades. Thus, you can upgrade your device when necessary at a discounted price.

The package is inclusive of the following benefits:

  • 8 reviews for consultation and fine-tuning of hearing aids (must be utilised within 2 years from the date of fitting)
  • 4 year warranty for hearing aid(s)
  • 1 year warranty for accessories
  • 1 year service/repair warranty

FAQs About the Senior Mobility Fund for Hearing Aids

Can I get a hearing aid for free in Singapore?

No, you can’t. However, you can offset the cost of your hearing aid through subsidies such as the SMF and Assistive Technology Fund (ATF).

Who is eligible for the Senior Mobility Fund?

Senior citizens who fulfil the following eligibility criteria may be eligible for the SMF:

  • A Singaporean citizen
  • Aged 60 and above
  • Residing at home instead of a nursing home or sheltered home
  • Have a monthly household income of $2,000 and below per person
  • A first-time applicant for the device category

Additionally, they must be assessed by a qualified assessor for the type of device required.

What is the cap on the Senior Mobility Fund?

The maximum amount you can receive from the SMF is 90% of the cost of the assistive device or 90% of the device subsidy cap, depending on which is lower.

¹The 6 Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) are dressing, feeding, transferring, mobility, washing and toileting.

²The fitting bandwidth affects the user’s spatial awareness when wearing the hearing aid. With a larger bandwidth, the user can enjoy a more natural and realistic soundscape.

³Processing channels allow the hearing aid to separate noise from speech. This is particularly important for users when in noisy environments. The greater the number of processing channels, the better the device is at processing and differentiating sounds.

⁴Fitting bands allow adjustments to be made to the volume of the hearing aid at different frequencies. Hence, users can enjoy a greater level of customisation and personalisation based on their hearing needs.

Suspect you might have hearing loss?

Your ears play an important role in your daily life and should not be neglected.

Speak to our hearing care professionals regarding your concerns today.

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