Maryland Hearing Aid Loan Bank (HALB)

The Maryland Hearing Aid Loan Bank (HALB) was formed in the Maryland State Department of Education, Division of Special Education/Early Intervention Services to provide loaner hearing aids to meet the needs of deaf and hard of hearing infants and toddlers in Maryland. Hearing aids are loaned free of charge to families. The HALB was established in 2003 and is funded by federal and state resources.

In 2000, the Joint Committee on Infant Hearing found that early amplification of hearing through the use of hearing aids or cochlear implants is essential to support emerging language skills, cognitive skills, and healthy social/emotional development, all of which are essential in forming a solid foundation for school readiness, learning, and success. Infants who are identified with hearing loss early in life can be fitted with hearing aids as young as four weeks of age. The HALB provides access to hearing aids as soon as possible following the confirmation of hearing loss. The program ensures young children have access to maximum auditory stimuli during the most critical period of language development.

In 2016, recognizing the critical role that amplification plays in access to educational, social, and community environments for children with hearing loss, the Maryland General Assembly adopted legislation to expand eligibility for the HALB to children through age 18. As of July 1, 2016, preschoolers and school-age children who are experiencing delays or difficulties obtaining permanent, personal amplification will be eligible to receive loaned hearing aids from the HALB.

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

Application Process

 Hearing Aid Application Process

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., Low Incidence Resource Specialist

Marny Helfrich, M.Ed., Low Incidence Resource Specialist