Assistance Programs

These programs are available for customers with telephone service.

Assistance Programs

  • 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.

    Tribal Lifeline Program
    Another version of the Lifeline Program is the Tribal Program. It provides basic telephone service for just $1 per month to people of all races living on tribal lands and expands the eligibility requirements to also include those participating in Tribal Head Start (those meeting the incoming qualifying standard), Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) general assistance programs, Tribally administered Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TTANF) and the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR).

    Enrollment Information
    We have contracted with NECA Services, Inc. (NSI) to perform many of the reporting and auditing functions required by the FCC for this program. For more information about the program, go to their website at: www.lifeline.gov/lifeline_Consumers.html. To enroll in the Lifeline Program, please call the business office for more information.
  • Minnesota Telephone Assistance Plan >

    The Minnesota Telephone Assistance Plan (TAP) may provide eligible persons with a monthly credit on their phone bills. You are eligible for the assistance if you are participating in one or more of the following programs :

       •  Medical Assistance
       •  Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps) 
       •  Supplemental Security Income (SSI) 
       •  Federal Public Housing Assistance
       •  Veterans Pension or Survivors Pension Benefit ;

    If you do not participate in any of the programs listed above but your income is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, you need to provide documentation for one of the following:

       •  Last year's State, Federal or Tribal Tax Return 
       •  3 consecutive months of most recent paycheck stub 
       •  Veterans Administration Benefits Statement 
       •  Unemployment/Workmen's Compensation Statement
       •  Child Support Document Other
       •  Current annual income statement from employer
       •  Social Security Benefits Statement
       •  Retirement/Pension Benefit Statement
       •  Divorce Decree

    OR you could qualify if your total household income does not exceed 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. To get the current application for this program, please click here: Minnesota Telephone Service Discount Application Lifeline and Telephone Assistance Program

  • 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
    www.tedprogram.org

  • 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

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