The previously announced program will open to applications on June 7. We still don’t know if the application format will be on-line or paper and mailed or both.
Are you eligible? You need to be:
- Resident of Manitoba
- Be age 65 or over
- Have a household net income below $80,000 in 2022
- Require hearing aids as prescribed by a certified hearing aid dealer licensed in Manitoba
The grant is up to $2,000 per person and can be claimed every five years. The grant can go towards the hearing aid(s), the hearing assessment, and the fitting of the hearing aid(s).
At this time, the cost of replacement batteries, repairs, ear mold replacements, and loss or damage replacement costs will not be eligible.
You must apply for the grant BEFORE you purchase the hearing aid(s).
Step one: get an assessment!
You likely need to have a hearing assessment before you can apply for the grant; you may need this information when you apply for the grant. It’s possible it needs to be a recent assessment; more details will be available on or after June 7 2023.
Step 2: get the Proof of Income Statement from CRA
In addition to the program application form, you will also need a “Proof of Income” Statement from Canada Revenue Agency for 2022. The regular Notice of Assessment is not sufficient (does not contain your birthdate or marital status).
To get your Proof of Income statement from CRA:
- Call CRA automated line: 1.800.267.6999; you will need your SIN, date of birth, postal code, and line 15000 from your most recent notice of assessment;
- Call CRA, 1.800.959.8281; when you call, make sure you have your 2021 or 2022 Notice of Assessment or Tax Summary handy as they will ask some questions about it in order to identify you;
- Access your CRA My Account and you can get a copy there as a PDF or you can print it;
- Ask your tax professional; they should be able to get the Proof of Income Statement for you if they have access to your CRA account.
For almost all our clients, we have CRA authorization to access our clients’ CRA account and can get the Proof of Income Statement and print it off for you or send it to you as a PDF. There is a $25 fee for this additional service.
Step 3: apply for the grant
The Province of Manitoba website states, “a program application form will be available when application intake begins”, which is June 7 2023.
We do not know if there will be an online portal or a toll-free number or, I suspect, both. On or after June 7, do a search on “Manitoba seniors hearing aid program” to get more detailed information. You can try calling the Manitoba Government Inquiry line: 1.866.626.4862 or 204.945.3744 on or after June 7.
Step 4: purchase the hearing aid(s)
The $2,000 is not paid directly to you, it will be paid to the participating hearing aid dealer as a reduction to your purchase. The hearing aid dealer will need your approval letter with the unique application number.
If you only need one hearing aid at this time and the cost is under $2,000, the remaining unpaid grant may be used for the other ear if needed within the 5-year period.
Anni Markmann is a Personal Income Tax Professional and Certified Financial Planner; living, working, and volunteering in our community. Contact Ste Anne Tax Service at 204.422.6631 (phone or text!) or 36 Dawson Road in Ste Anne (near Co-op) or firstname.lastname@example.org