ADRC Information

Learn About

Go To--> Learn About | Assistive Technology | Financial Assistance

Article: Telecommunications Equipment Purchase Program

Program Information

Table of Contents
  1. Program Information


The Telecommunications Equipment Purchase Program is to help people with disabilities buy equipment they need in order to use basic telephone services. The TEPP is paid for by the Wisconsin Universal Service Fund (USF) established by the Public Service Commission. Money collected from Wisconsin telephone service providers goes into the USF.

Requirements:

            Be a Wisconsin resident.

            • Be a person who is deaf, hard of hearing, speech impaired, or mobility or motion impaired.

            • Need special equipment to use the telephone in the home or when traveling (like a TTY, amplification, visual alert system, etc.).

There’s no age or income limit, but an individual can only get TEPP money once every three years for the same type of disability.

 How much will TEPP pay?

The amount depends on your disability. On the application form, you identify which disability affects your telephone use. You will be mailed a voucher (like a check) for the amount you are qualified to get. These amounts were set based on the usual cost of the equipment needed.

Type of Disability and Amount:

Hard of Hearing (HH) $ 125

(No co-payment required for HH vouchers)

Deaf/Severely HH 800

Speech Impaired 1,600

Mobility/Motion Impaired 1,600

Deaf with Low Vision 2,500

Deaf and Blind 7,200

How much do I have to pay?

You pay the first $100 (except for HH vouchers). The voucher pays the rest, up to the maximum voucher amount. If you buy equipment that costs more than the voucher plus your $100, you also pay the extra charges. For example, if you are deaf or severely hard-of-hearing, you can get a voucher for $800. If you buy equipment with a total cost of $918, you will pay $118.

What if I can’t afford the $100?

The Telecommunication Assistance Program (TAP) may be able to pay the $100. TAP is a program of the Office for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (Department of Health & Family Services). TAP is only for persons who are deaf or severely hard of hearing in a low-income household. TAP funds pay the $100 TEPP co-payment if you qualify.

How do I get TAP to pay the $100?

The TEPP and TAP application form are combined. For TAP, you must also fill out the household income lines and send a hearing loss certificate. You must add up all income for everyone living in your house. If your total household income meets the TAP income limits, your application will automatically be processed for a TEPP and TAP voucher so your voucher may include the $100 co-payment. For questions on TAP, contact: Office for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing at (608) 266-3118 Voice/TTY.

 

Last Updated on 9/11/2007

Friday, January 24, 2020