Assistance Programs

These programs are available for customers with telephone service.

Federal Lifeline

The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Lifeline Program provides for discounted telephone service for Americans whose income falls below certain guidelines. Following is information about the program and how it works. Eligibility Guidelines If your income level falls at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, you will qualify for discounted telephone service under the terms of the FCC’s Lifeline Program. Consumers will also be eligible to receive the discount if they’re receiving assistance from at least one of the following programs: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid, Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA), Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Veterans Pension or Survivors Pension Benefit. Enrollment Information There are three ways to apply for Lifeline

  1. Apply online at https://nationalverifier.servicenowservices.com/lifeline
  2. Mail in your application. Print an application https://www.lifelinesupport.org/wp-content/uploads/lifeline/documents/LI_Application_NVstates.pdf
    1. Complete the application and send with proof of eligibility to:
      Lifeline Support Center
      PO Box 7081
      London KY 40742
  3. Come into our office and we can help you (This options is temporarily unavailable due to Covid19 restrictions)

Once you have been approved, please provide us with the approval documentation and we will get the discounts added to your account.

For more information about the program, go to their website at https://www.fcc.gov/general/lifeline-program-low-income-consumers

Minnesota Telephone Assistance Plan

The Minnesota Telephone Assistance Plan (TAP) helps make telephone service affordable to low-income consumers.

Eligibility Guidelines

If your income level falls at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, you will qualify for discounted telephone service under the terms of the FCC’s Lifeline Program. Consumers will also be eligible to receive the discount if they’re receiving assistance from at least one of the following programs: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid, Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA), Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Veterans Pension or Survivors Pension Benefit.

How do I apply?

To get the current application for this program, please click HERE 

For more information on TAP, click HERE

Runestone Telecom Association can assist you with the application or you can contact the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission for assistance at consumer.puc@state.mn.us

 

Telephone Equipment Distribution (TED)

 This program provides free specialized telecommunications equipment to income-eligible Minnesotans who are having trouble using the telephone due to a hearing, speech or physical disability.

For more information on the TED program, call
1-800-657-3663 (voice)
1-888-206-6555 (TTY)
or go to the website click here

Minnesota Relay

Phone family, friends or vital services even if you have a hearing, speech or physical disability. Minnesota Relay is a free service, providing full telephone accessibility for anyone who is hard of hearing, deaf or speech disabled, through the use of specially trained communications assistants (CA). Available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Call next door or internationally. Calls are 100% confidential.

Now it is easier than ever to make a Minnesota Relay call….Just dial 711. Once connected to the relay service, tell the CA the type of relay call you want to make. Or, dial the specific toll free number for the type of relay call you want to make.

Services available are:

Text Telephone (TTY).…1-800-627-3529
Allows anyone who is deaf, hard of hearing, or speech disabled to use a TTY to communicate with anyone using a standard telephone.

Standard Telephone
…1-800-627-3529
A hearing person uses a standard telephone to place a relay call and easily converse with a person who is deaf, hard of hearing or speech disabled.

Captioned Telephone (CAPTEL)
…1-877-243-2823
CapTel allows a person who has hearing loss to receive word-for-word captions of phone conversations. Captions are displayed on the CapTel phone’s display screen so the user can read the words while listening to the voice of the other party. CapTel phone required.

Hearing Carry Over (HCO).
..1-800-627-3529
Allows a hearing person with very limited or no speech capabilities to make a phone call. Requires a special phone.

Voice Carry Over (VCO).
..1-877-627-3024
Allows anyone who has difficulty hearing on the phone to voice conversations directly to a hearing person. Requires a special phone.

2 Line Voice Carry Over 
(VCO)…1-866-855-4611
Allows a VCO user to use one phone line for speaking directly to the other person, and a second line to receive the CA’s typed response from the other person. Requires additional service and equipment.

Spanish Relay
…1-877-627-5448
The CA relays calls between a Spanish speaking person with a hearing or speech disability and a Spanish speaking hearing person.

Speech to Speech (STS)
…1-877-627-3848
Allows a person who has difficulty speaking or being understood on the phone to communicate using his/her own voice or voice synthesizer.

Computer(ASCII)
…1-800-627-3537
Set communications software to the following protocols: speeds ranging from 300 to 2400; 8 Bits; No Parity; 1 Stop Bit; Full Duplex. When calling at a rate of 300 or below, follow the above using Half Duplex.

900 Pay-per-Call Services
…1-900-230-3324
Allows a relay user to connect to any pay-per-call service.

For more information, call 1-800-657-3775 (Voice/TTY)or go to their website at www.mnrelay.org