IM-1  01/04/00  Telephone Assistance Programs

Telephone Assistance Programs
This memorandum provides information about the Missouri Adaptive Telephone Equipment Program (ATEP), Lifeline and Link-Up. 


Persons with hearing, sight, mobility, and other impairments may have difficulties in using traditional telephones.  ATEP helps qualified individuals obtain assistive technology equipment to overcome these impairment barriers.  Examples of assistive technology are devices which allow a hearing impaired user to send and receive typed messages or a mobility impaired user to activate the telephone by slight touch or puff of air.

The Department of Labor and Industrial Relations administers ATEP.  Claimants must be certified as having a disability which prevents them from using traditional telephones.  For those who qualify, ATEP will pay for the equipment.  Refer interested individuals who want to apply for an assistive device to ATEP, P. O. Box 460501, St. Louis, Missouri 63146, 1-800-410-7280.

Lifeline and Link-Up

Lifeline services permit elderly and disabled individuals to request assistance when they cannot get to a telephone to call for help.  The individual typically wears a small electronic device.  Activating this device causes a signal to be sent via the telephone to a medical provider.  The provider then calls a contact person (relative, friend, or neighbor) who goes to the individual's residence.  Subscribers pay for this service.

Link-Up is a program to promote access to a telephone network by low income residential households.

Individuals who receive Medicaid, Food Stamps, Supplemental Security Income, Energy Assistance, and certain federal housing assistance may be eligible for a reduced cost of Lifeline charges and under the Link-Up program, a reduction in the telephone installation and monthly basic charges.

Refer potential participants to their telephone companies to inquire about reduced Lifeline charges and Link-Up.  Benefits may vary from company to company. Telephone companies require a signed document to verify the type of assistance claimants receive.  If necessary, provide claimants with a copy of the approval letter or other forms as appropriate. We currently send Southwestern Bell, AT&T, GTE, and Steelville Telephone Exchange Incorporated a monthly list which identifies eligible Energy Assistance recipients.

  • Discuss this memorandum with appropriate staff.

  • Refer potential claimants for ATEP, reduced Lifeline charges, and Link-Up.

[ Memorandum Table of Contents ]