Communication is such an important part of life. If you can’t hear well due to age, illness, previous exposure to loud noise or any other reason, it certainly affects your quality of life.
Many people with hearing loss avoid talking on the phone because it’s too difficult for them to hear, but there is a program through the state of Wisconsin that can help remedy that. The Telephone Equipment Purchase Program (TEPP) can provide vouchers to obtain amplified phones which may improve a person’s ability to use the phone comfortably. For the vast majority of applicants, this program is free of charge. TEPP is administered through the Public Service Commission and funded by a Wisconsin telephone user fee known as the Universal Service Fund. Most people have probably noticed the USF charge on their phone bill but never knew its purpose.
There are different telephone offered with features that include hearing aid compatibility, amplified volume, enriched tone controls, extra large numbered keypads, loud ringer volume choices, caller ID and unique speed dialing features.
TEPP is not just for veterans. It’s a program for anyone who:
• Is a Wisconsin resident, and
• Makes a voluntary declaration of hearing loss, and
• Has not received TEPP funding within the last three years.
People who apply can expect to receive their equipment in approximately 4 to 6 weeks. No charges will ever appear on a person’s bill, and the amplified phone becomes their property.
If you are not a veteran and would like to apply for an amplified phone through this program, you can contact Paul Klocko, ElderCom representative, at (715) 241-6940. If you are a veteran, the Oneida County Veterans Service Office can assist you with the application. Please call (715) 369-6127 for an appointment.
Tammy Walters is available at (715) 369-6127, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.