HACKENSACK, NJ – The County of Bergen announced today that it is partnering with the New Jersey Department of Human Services to help provide free refurbished hearing aids to qualified low-income seniors.
The New Jersey Hearing Aid Project provides free refurbished hearing aids for eligible older New Jersey resident with low incomes. The project is collaboration between the Department of Human Services’ Division of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Hearing Charities of America/Sertoma and Montclair State University.
Bergen County has established collection sites at several county facilities, where residents can donate hearing aids no longer in use. Donated hearing aids are then refurbished, reconditioned, and provided to program participants. Collection boxes are currently positioned at the following locations:
Bergen County Administrative Building, Second Floor Lobby (One Bergen County Plaza, Hackensack)
Bergen New Bridge Medical Center, Main Lobby (230 East Ridgewood Avenue, Paramus)
Bergen County Northwest Senior Center (46-50 Center Street, Midland Park)
When the device is no longer needed by that participant, it is returned to the New Jersey Hearing Aid Project and refurbished for another resident in need. All used hearing aids are accepted – any age, any brand and any model.
“Some older New Jerseyans with hearing loss are not able to afford the cost of a hearing aid,” said Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson said. “We are committed to expanding this vital program, and are thrilled to be able to introduce it to Bergen County. We’re so excited by the benefits this program brings to our residents, and we’re working to build upon that success to help even more people.”
“Anyone who has had to purchase a hearing aid knows the costs involved, and the difficulties in obtaining coverage for those expenses,” said County Executive James J. Tedesco. “It’s important to let the public know that just like clothing and other essential items, they can actually donate leftover hearing aids and give the gift of hearing to a senior citizen in need. This partnership will strengthen our Age-Friendly Bergen initiative, enhancing our ability to improve the health, well-being, and quality of life for residents as they age.”
“The price for a pair of hearing aids varies between $3,000 - $7,000. That is a staggering and often prohibitive amount of money for anyone, but especially those at the lower-end of the income spectrum,” said Freeholder David L. Ganz. “This program is going to change lives for the better all across Bergen County. We’ve got to get the word out that this program exists; both to potential donors and recipients.”
The Murphy Administration last year announced that it has boosted the reimbursement for audiologists participating in the program from $150 to $300 to increase access to these services.
Individuals who are at least 65 years of age, are New Jersey residents and have an income not exceeding $27,189 if single or $33,334 if married are eligible for the program.
“Not only do hearing aids help people with hearing difficulties, but they can boost social interactions, improve income security and enhance overall quality of life,” said Human Services Deputy Commissioner Elisa Neira.
For more information on this program, visit https://nj.gov/humanservices/ddhh/home/hearingaidproject.html
About 850,000 New Jersey residents have varying degrees of hearing loss ranging from mild to profound. This includes individuals who are born deaf and people who encounter late-stage hearing loss.