The Treatment Benefit Scheme is a grant scheme run by the Department of Social Protection (DSP) that provides dental, optical and aural services to qualified people. The scheme is available to insured workers, retired people, and their dependent spouses who have the required number of PRSI Contributions.
Under the Treatment Benefit Scheme, Hearing aids may be provided by suppliers who have a contract with the Department of Social Protection. The Department pays half the cost of a hearing aid subject to a fixed maximum of €500 for each hearing aid, every 4 years. It also pays half the cost of repairs to hearing aids.
From Friday, 31st March, 2017: Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar extended the Treatment Benefit scheme to some 450,000 self-employed people and their dependent spouses for the first time. This includes small business owners, farmers, tradespeople, freelancers, contractors and professionals.
It means that people who work for themselves and pay PRSI at class S can now get the same regular dental and optical examinations, free of charge, that until now were only available to employees. They can also get a grant for hearing aids of 50% of the cost, to a maximum of €500 per aid, every four years.
Full details of the scheme are available on the Dept of Social Protections website – www.welfare.ie
Medical Card Holders
Medical Card Holders are legally entitled to free hearing aid services from the Health Service Executive ( HSE) but, in practice, the availability of these services varies from area to area. If you wish to obtain a hearing aid on your medical card you must first consult with your G.P.
Visit www.hse.ie for further information
Private Health Insurance cover
Hearing aid prescriptions are not covered by private health insurance companies in Ireland. However, depending on your level of cover the cost of a hearing test may be reimbursable. Contact your Health Insurance company for further information.
You may claim tax relief in respect of the cost of certain medical expenses paid by you. This includes the cost of hearing aids. Contact the Revenue Commissioners or see www.revenue.ie for further details of the MED1 Tax Relief Scheme.