Telecommunication Assistance Program (TAP)

Increased TAP Hearing Aid Assistance (HAA)

We are pleased to announce the TAP program is now offering up to $1,500 towards the purchase of new or refurbished hearing aids or cochlear implant processors. Funding is limited and is on a first-come first-served basis. Applicants must meet the TAP program eligibility requirements. Learn more about this opportunity on our TAP HAA webpage.

Program Brochure, P-03142

 

TAP is an application-based financial assistance program for the purpose of making telecommunications devices for distance communications available to Wisconsin residents of any age who are severely hard of hearing, Deaf, or Deaf-Blind. TAP can assists with funding towards the purchase of new and refurbished hearing aids, cochlear implant external processors, and specialized telecommunications equipment as well as some co-pay costs associated with the Telecommunications Equipment Purchase Program (TEPP) voucher program. Funding is available on a first-come first-served basis. TAP applicants may apply once every three years.

There are four program options available when applying for TAP assistance: Hearing Aid Assistance (HAA); Equipment Purchase Assistance (TEPA); Copay; and TAP+.

All TAP program options listed above require applicants to:

  • Be a Wisconsin resident
  • Meet income eligibility guidelines (PDF)
  • Provide a completed TAP assistance application
  • Provide hearing loss documentation
  • Purchase equipment through an approved vendor
  • Apply only once every three years

For information about each program option select the corresponding tab below.

TEPA

TEPA is available to cover the costs of approved specialized telecommunications equipment up to $250 for program eligible applicants who are not applying for the larger TEPP assistance voucher.

Additional TEPA eligibility criteria:

TEPA vouchers will be mailed to the applicant or the applicant's legal representative (unless otherwise directed) to be redeemed with an approved vendor as a credit towards the total purchase price.

Copay

TAP Copay assistance is available to cover the $100 copay costs required by the Telecommunications Equipment Purchase Program (TEPP) available through the Public Service Commission (PSC) of Wisconsin for the purchase of approved distance communications devices.

Additional Copay eligibility criteria:

Copay vouchers will be mailed to the applicant or the applicant's legal representative (unless otherwise directed) to be redeemed with an approved vendor as a credit towards the total purchase price.

TAP+

TAP+ is available to add up to an additional $150 towards an applicant's TEPP purchase when there are additional out-of-pocket costs that otherwise would be a hardship for applicants to pay. TAP+ works in combination with the Copay assistance.

Additional TAP+ eligibility criteria:

TAP+ vouchers will be mailed to the applicant or the applicant's legal representative (unless otherwise directed) to be redeemed with an approved vendor as a credit towards the total purchase price.

Other State Programs Information

  • A person eligible for or receiving services from the Department of Workforce Development's Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) shall first be evaluated by DVR to determine if the person is eligible for hearing aids or telecommunications devices under the vocational rehabilitation program, and if denied by DVR the person may apply for TAP assistance.
  • Preference will be given to individuals who are not receiving telecommunication devices from another state program.

Additional Resources

Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs)

Your local ADRC is the place to go to get accurate, unbiased information on all aspects of life related to aging or living with a disability, whether you are looking for yourself, a family member, or a friend. The ADRC provides information on a broad range of programs and services. Visit the ADRC webpage for more information.

Independent Living Centers (ILCs)

The ILCs are consumer-controlled, community-based, cross-disability, nonresidential, private non-profit agencies that are designed and operated within a local community by individuals with disabilities, and provide an array of independent living services. Visit the ILC webpage for more information.

Telecommunications Equipment Purchase Program (TEPP)

TEPP helps people with disabilities with purchasing the specialized equipment they need for distance communications. TEPP is paid for by the Universal Service Fund, which was established by the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin. In most cases, TEPP requires some applicants to pay a $100 co-pay towards their equipment purchase. Visit the TEPP website for eligibility requirements and program information.

Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)

The ACP provides a discount of up to $30 per month toward internet service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if they contribute more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price. Visit the Public Service Commission's (PCSs) Broadband Consumer Resources webpage for program information.

iCanConnect

iCanConnect provides individuals with both significant vision and hearing loss with free equipment and training for distance communication. iCanConnect is a national program with local contacts that helps people stay connected with friends, family and the world. Visit the iCanConnect website for income and disability eligibility requirements.

Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA)

HLAA is the nation’s leading organization representing consumers with hearing loss. HLAA gives members the tools they need to live more successfully with hearing loss. The programs and services offered are designed to focus on you—the person with hearing loss. Visit the Hearing Loss Association of America website for programs and services information.

Other financial assistance for hearing aids and hearing assistive technology for adults who are Deaf, hard of hearing, and Deaf-Blind

Hearing aids range in cost from $1,000 to $4,000, which is not affordable for many people. However, various programs exist to help people with lower incomes purchase hearing aids and other assistive hearing technology at lower out-of-pocket costs. Agency list, P-00591 (PDF)

Please contact the TAP Program Coordinator by email or call 608-267-7195 if you have questions, need assistance, or want to talk about any special circumstances or other financial assistance and options.

Last Revised: April 22, 2022