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Telecommunication Assistance Program (TAP)

TAP update

"The TAP program operates on a first-come first-served basis while funding is available." We anticipate that our current budget will be depleted sooner than expected.

We are starting a waitlist effective immediately. We ask that you please continue to submit all the required TAP application paperwork to reserve a spot on the TAP assistance waitlist.

We will follow-up with each applicant as soon as additional resources become available.

Please contact the TAP Program Coordinator by email or call 608-267-7195 if you have any questions about the TAP program or the waitlist process.


TAP Hearing Aid Assistance

TAP offers financial assistance 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 TAP eligibility requirements.

TAP provides financial assistance to low-income individuals in Wisconsin who are severely hard of hearing, Deaf, or Deaf-Blind. TAP funding can be used to purchase new or refurbished hearing aids or cochlear implant processors, specialized telecommunications equipment, and copay costs associated with purchases through the Telecommunications Equipment Purchase Program (TEPP). TAP funding is limited and is on a first-come first-served basis.

Program brochure,


TAP funding is available to help with:

Hearing Aid Assistance (HAA)

HAA provides financial assistance towards the purchase of new and refurbished telecoil (T-coil) or Bluetooth-enabled hearing aids or cochlear implant external processors.Learn more about TAP HAA.

Copay Assistance

TAP Copay assistance is available to cover the $100 copay cost required by theTelecommunications Equipment Purchase Program (TEPP). Copay assistance can be combined with TAP+.Learn more about TAP Copay assistance.

TAP Plus (TAP+)

TAP+ provides financial assistance for additional distance communications needs.Learn more about TAP+.


Note disclaimers

  • 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.

ADRCs (Aging and Disability Resource Centers)

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.


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.

Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC)

The PSC of Wisconsin ensures safe, reliable, affordable, and environmentally responsible utility services and equitable access to telecommunications and broadband services. Visit the PSC website 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 PSC of Wisconsin. In most cases, TEPP requires some applicants to pay a $100 co-pay towards their equipment purchase. Visit PSC's 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 PCS's ACP webpage for program information.

Consumer Assistance Programs
There are a variety of programs available in Wisconsin to help households pay for and obtain access to basic utility, telecommunications, and internet services. Visit PSC's Consumer Assistance Programs website for more information.

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

Good hearing aids range in cost from $1,000 to $7,000, 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)

Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

The FDA is responsible for protecting the public health by ensuring the safety, efficacy, and security of human and veterinary drugs, biological products for human use, and medical devices. The agency also is responsible for the safety and security of our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements, products that give off electronic radiation, and for regulating tobacco products. Visit the FDA's website for more information.

Some articles of interest

FDA Finalizes Historic Rule Enabling Access to Over-the Counter Hearing Aids for Millions of Americans
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a final rule to improve access to hearing aids which may in turn lower costs for millions of Americans. This action establishes a new category of over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids, enabling consumers with perceived mild to moderate hearing impairment to purchase hearing aids directly from stores or online retailers without the need for a medical exam, prescription or a fitting adjustment by an audiologist.

Hearing Aids and Personal Sound Amplification Products: What to Know
Learn about hearing aids, including Over-the-Counter (OTC) hearing aids, and personal sound amplification products.

Cochlear Implants: A Different Kind of 'Hearing'
What are cochlear implants? Who uses them and why?

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 HLAA website for programs and services information.

Hearing Loss Basics
Hearing loss is the third most common physical condition after arthritis and heart disease. There are different degrees of hearing loss. Hearing loss is an invisible condition. Since hearing loss is often not visible, people might jump to the wrong conclusion that someone is aloof, confused, not smart, or has had a personality change.

Hearing Help
Your decision to do something about your hearing loss begins with understanding what is happening. Here is information for you or someone you know who may have trouble hearing.

Just about everyone with any type or degree of hearing loss can be helped with some kind of hearing assistive technology – whether it be hearing aids, cochlear implants or other implantable devices, hearing enhancement technology, apps, assistive listening devices, or captioning.

Financial Assistance
The first step for financial assistance resources for hearing aids (and other technology) is to check with your health care insurance provider to find out if they carry hearing aid coverage. After that, check out HLAA's list to find out you might be eligible for services.

National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)

NIDCD is one of the institutes and centers that comprise the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The NIH's mission is to uncover new knowledge that will lead to better health for everyone. Visit the NIDCD Health Information website for more information.

Some articles of interest

Adults Hearing Health Care

Balance Disorders

Hearing, Ear Infections, and Deafness

Please contact the TAP 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 March 6, 2023