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Hearing aids

  • Direct reimbursement program
  • Members can access the service once every three (3) years.
  • Members can obtain at least a 25% discount by utilizing a preferred provider.
  • Members submit a validated Hearing Aid certificate, along with original paid receipts to the Welfare Fund for a reimbursement maximum of $1,000.00
  • The UFT Welfare Fund will also process your retiree Supplemental Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) benefit if you are eligible for that benefit as well.

Who is covered?

All eligible members and dependents, as defined in the General Information section, are covered for a hearing aid benefit.

What is the benefit?

The hearing aid benefit provides one (1) hearing aid every three (3) years (counted from the date of your last service). The benefit includes a comprehensive audiological evaluation, ear impression and required visits necessary for the proper fitting/use of the hearing aid.

Note: If a hearing aid is not dispensed, and you want to remain eligible for the entire benefit, you should pay for or submit the bill to your health insurance carrier or Medicare for the expense of the evaluation. This will ensure your entitlement to a full hearing aid benefit should you require it in the future.

How are benefits obtained?

You must obtain a Hearing Aid Certificate/Direct Reimbursement Form by requesting it from the Fund Office or by calling the Forms Hotline at 212-539-0539. This request must indicate whom the service(s) are for, so that the Fund may verify eligibility prior to issuing the certificate(s).

Please note: Certificates are not transferable. Photocopied certificates will not be accepted. Certificates cannot be faxed.

What is the reimbursement?

Under direct reimbursement you are required to pay for the full cost of the service and submit to the Fund for payment. Reimbursement will be $1,000.00 or the cost of the hearing aid, whichever is less.

Although this is a direct reimbursement benefit, the Welfare Fund has created a list of Preferred Providers who have agreed to offer a free examination and give a minimum 25% discount off the cost of a hearing aid.

The Preferred Provider list for the hearing aid benefit is also available by calling the Fund hotline at 212-539-0539.

How do I get reimbursed?

  1. Attach an original, paid, itemized receipt to the Hearing Aid Certificate/Direct Reimbursement Form. Altered or photocopied receipts will not be accepted.
  2. Complete Parts 1 and 2.
  3. Sign and date Part 3.
  4. Mail to the UFT Welfare Fund office. Claims must be submitted for payment no later than 90 days from the date of service.
  5. The Welfare Fund also administers the hearing aid benefit for SHIP (Supplemental Health Insurance Plan). Claims for retirees who are members of SHIP and are eligible to receive an additional benefit from SHIP, will have their SHIP claim processed when the Fund processes its claim.

What is not covered under the Hearing Aid Program?

  1. Charges associated with the return of a hearing aid.
  2. Charges associated with repairs.
  3. Charges for amplification devices, also known as Assistive Listening Devices (ALD).

What is not covered under the Direct Reimbursement Program?

The benefits are the same under the Direct Reimbursement Program. However, when you do not use a participating provider, the cost of the services is not required to be discounted.

Does Special Coordination of Benefits (SCOB) apply to the Hearing Aid Benefit Plan?

Yes. Members and their spouse/domestic partner who are also members are entitled to SCOB. This entitles each eligible family member to two (2) hearing aids, one hearing aid under each member's benefit record. The two (2) certificates can be combined when purchasing a single hearing aid. Reimbursement to the member may not exceed the actual charge for the hearing aid under SCOB.

How is this benefit affected by my Basic Health coverage?

A patient's basic health coverage will always be Primary and the United Federation of Teachers Welfare Fund hearing aid benefit Secondary.

Please note, assignment of payment to a provider is not permitted.

Need a Hearing Aid Benefits Certificate?

Call the Forms Hotline at: 212-539-0539

Frequently Asked Questions

A list of the most commonly asked questions.
How do I enroll in the hearing aid program?

To take advantage of this benefit, the first thing you should do is order a Hearing Aid Certificate. The fastest way to get a certificate is to go to the Welfare Fund website and request a certificate online for each family member in need of the service. You also can call the UFT Welfare Fund's automated hotline at 212-539-0539.

I received my certificate for my hearing aids. Can I use it twice, or use a portion of it for one visit and the other portion for the next?

You cannot split the certificate by using it first for a checkup and then at a later date to purchase a hearing aid. The Welfare Fund recommends you use your medical benefits for a checkup or evaluation and use the certificate only when you are ready to purchase a hearing aid. That way, you'll get the most value from the certificate.

I am a retired teacher and need a hearing aid. How do I receive this benefit?

As a service to retired UFT members, the UFT Welfare Fund will process the hearing-aid reimbursement for retirees who are enrolled in the Supplemental Health Insurance Program (SHIP). For more information about SHIP, visit the UFT website:

Can I use any provider or do I have to use a specific provider/audiologist for my hearing aids?

Yes, but there are benefits to using a panel provider. Besides the discounts offered, the Welfare Fund requires our panelists to have a licensed audiologist at their facility to ensure quality service.

The best way to save money is to use one of the Welfare Fund's preferred providers, who have agreed to give a 25 percent discount to UFT members and their dependents.

The preferred provider list is available by calling the Welfare Fund hotline at 212-539-0539, or you can download the list from the Welfare Fund website:

If I get an evaluation but choose not to get hearing aids, should I use the certificate?

We suggest that you use the certificate only for a full service, including the hearing aid. If you use the certificate and only get the evaluation, we will pay the evaluation fee, but you will be deemed to have used the entire $1,000 benefit and you will not be eligible for another certificate for three years. Instead, if you pay for the evaluation (and possibly submit the claim to your health plan), you will save the $1,000 benefit and can use it when you are ready to purchase your hearing aid.