The Maryland Hearing Aid Loan Bank was created to provide immediate access to hearing aids to infants, toddlers, and children. A six-month loan period may be granted to provide parents or legal guardians of children with hearing loss the opportunity to secure permanent amplification through personal resources, insurance, or community assistance programs.
The State made a significant commitment to the early intervention of congenital hearing loss by passing legislation in State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2002 to create a Hearing Aid Loan Bank for the purpose of providing early intervention for infants and toddlers with hearing loss. The Maryland Hearing Aid Loan Bank was established to create a bridge between early identification and early intervention for infants and toddlers with hearing loss and their families. In May 2011, the Maryland State Legislature passed Senate Bill 754 establishing a permanent Hearing Aid Loan Bank Program in the State Department of Education, Division of Special Education/Early Intervention Services. In 2016, legislation was adopted to expand the program to Maryland children through age 18 to ensure full access to educational and other environments.
Access to amplification as soon as possible after a diagnosis of hearing loss in an infant or toddler is crucial to language and healthy social/emotional development that are the foundation for school readiness and success. Older children need reliable amplification to support their full participation in school, community, and social settings. The Maryland Hearing Aid Loan Bank provides hearing aid technology to families of children with confirmed hearing loss who do not have insurance coverage for hearing aids and/or experience delays in obtaining, purchasing, or replacing hearing aids. In addition, those in need of hearing aids for cochlear implant candidacy may obtain devices on a temporary basis. There are no income restrictions for this program.
Who qualifies for the program?
- Legal residents of Maryland
- Families whose insurance does not cover the cost of hearing aids
- Families who are experiencing delays in acquiring or replacing hearing aids
- Families who need amplification for their child during cochlear implant candidacy evaluation
- There is no income qualification
- Confirmed diagnosis of hearing loss is required by a licensed audiologist
- Referring audiologist and the parent complete an application for the hearing aid loan request
- The audiologist submits the application to the HALB along with required documents
- Upon approval, the hearing aids are loaned to the family for a period of up to six months
- Loan extensions are available upon request following the sixth month period
Provision of hearing aids is always dependent on availability. Priority will be given to the youngest children and to new requests over extensions.
Zella Shabasson, Au.D
Marny Helfrich, M.Ed
Low Incidence Disability Resource Specialist