Do you have trouble having conversations on the phone? TEP can help!
About the Program
The Telecommunications Equipment Program (TEP) was established by state law to provide ‘No’ or ‘Low’ cost adaptive telecommunications equipment to any Maine resident who cannot use their home’s conventional telephone due to a physical or cognitive disability. The program was established to assist low-income residents, and most clients pay nothing for the phone equipment they need.
Through a simple application process, the MCD TEP staff will determine which amplified, captioned, or voice-activated telephone and call signaler will meet your needs.
To apply, complete the TEP application form (available for download to the right side of this page or contact MCD to request an application packet) and send it back to MCD with:
- Verification of Disability (note from doctor, an audiogram, or diploma from deaf school)
- Proof of Household income for all family members for prior 12 months (tax returns, pay stubs, social security award letters, or bank statements)
MCD Program staff will use the information in your application form to select the best phone for you.
Once you are approved as a Lending (no cost) client, we will send the phone right to your home! Installation is easy; with amplified phones you just plug them into the phone and electrical outlets, and start making phone calls!
If the equipment does not meet your needs, MCD staff will do their best to find something that does through equipment exchange. As a Lending client, you may keep the equipment for as long as you need or want it, but you cannot give it to someone else, or take it out of the state of Maine. Since the equipment belongs to the state program, you must give us your new address and phone number when you move, or if you no longer need the equipment, you must return it to MCD (we can provide a UPS label so you don’t have to pay the shipping costs). If your needs change and you need a replacement or the equipment breaks down, we will send you a replacement along with a UPS label that will pay to send the old equipment back to MCD.
If you are approved as a Cost-Share (low cost) client, you will pay a portion of the cost (on a sliding scale basis) of the equipment you need. We will send you an invoice that is payable by cash, check or money order. Once we receive your payment, we will ship the equipment directly to you. The equipment is yours, just as if you had purchased it from any store, and can be removed from the state of Maine. If your equipment needs repair, MCD staff will refer you to the appropriate repair center or warranty process. Many ‘Low’ cost clients only pay $50 for equipment worth hundreds of dollars.