Telecommunication Device Distribution Program (TDDP)

Questions & Answers

Is this a free program? Are there any out-of-pocket charges for me?

The Telecommunications Device Distribution Program is free to individuals who meet the eligibility requirements. There are no charges to the individuals themselves. To receive a free phone, applicants must live in Pennsylvania, have a disability that makes it difficult or impossible to use standard telephone equipment, be at least six years old, have a low income, have existing phone service through a landline, and be able to learn to use the device requested. In addition to the application form, applicants must also provide the required supporting documentation.

Who can sign the Certification of Disability?

The Certification of Disability may only be signed by one of the following: a licensed physician, a licensed audiologist, a licensed speech pathologist, OR a representative from a state agency. Currently, this would be one of the following: an OVR Counselor, a case worker from the Department of Public Welfare or Social Security Administration, Office for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Department of Aging, Department of Education, or Department of Health.

Unless the person fits into one of the above categories, they cannot sign the Certification of Disability. If the person signing the Certification of Disability is not an approved person, the application process will be delayed until an appropriate signature is obtained.

Who do I contact if my device is broken or not working properly?

All of the devices received through TDDP have a one-year warranty. If you have had your equipment less than one year, contact the vendor that sent the equipment (Teltex, ATI, Potomac Technology, or Hearmore) for more information.

Devices received through TDDP become YOUR property. After the first year, repair or replacement of the device is your responsibility.

Why can't I get a cell phone or mobile device through this program?

The TDDP was created to supply basic home phone service. However, recognizing the changes in technology and telephone use, the Public Utility Commission (PUC) has authorized a PILOT PROGRAM to distribute wireless devices, beginning January 2016. Participants need to meet all standard eligibility criteria for TDDP and be willing to travel to Philadelphia for training and meetings.

What is meant by the number of dependents in the household?

Only the income of the applicant is considered, but income eligibility is on a sliding scale according to the number of people living in the household. This is the number of dependents that you would normally list on your federal tax return.. You must at least list 1 (for yourself). Please refer to the Income Guidelines chart that is included with the application.

Who do I contact if I need help learning to use my device?

Contact the Assistive Technology Resource Center (ATRC) for your area if you need assistance. A representative may be able to facilitate a demonstration on your device for you. If you do not know who the ATRC is for your area, call 1-800-204-7428 (voice), 866-268-0579 (TTY), or email

Who do I contact if my device does not work at all?

Call the vendor that sent you the phone (Teltex, ATI, Potomac Technology, or Hearmore). They will be able to provide some customer support over the phone, and may be able to advise you on the next steps to take.

If you are still having problems, or if you get confused, contact the Assistive Technology Resource Center (ATRC) for your area. They will be able to provide some assistance. If you do not know who the ATRC is for your area, call 1-800-204-7428 (voice), 866-268-0579 (TTY), or email

How long is the application process?

If the application is submitted and is totally complete, including the supporting documents, it generally takes about six to eight weeks. Any missing information or documentation will delay the process.

How many phones can I get? What are the limits?

Each applicant may request one phone and one signaler.

What documents are required with the application?

The required documents are:

a. Proof of income
Examples: Social Security Award Letter, Retirement Award Letter, Tax Forms 1099, or a W2

b. Proof of residence
Examples: Copy of Photo ID, Electric Bill, School ID, Library Card, or report card

c. Proof of home phone service (not a mobile phone)
Examples: One page of a recent phone bill. Make sure your phone number is pre-printed on the page that is submitted.

When can I get a replacement phone if the one I chose does not meet my needs?

An individual who has received equipment from TDDP but whose equipment has broken after the expiration of the one year warranty, and who is still eligible for the program, may have that equipment replaced no earlier than THREE years after the receipt of the original equipment. Individuals should not re-apply if their equipment still works.

My disability has gotten worse, and the equipment doesn't meet my needs.

If you have received TDDP equipment but need DIFFERENT equipment, due to a change in your disability (and the original equipment no longer meets your needs), you may re-apply at any time.

I requested the wrong equipment. Can I exchange it for something else?

The TDDP has a NO EXCHANGE policy. If you are unsure about what type of equipment will work for you, it is strongly suggested that you borrow it from Pennsylvania's Assistive Technology Lending Library first, BEFORE submitting an application to the TDDP.

The lending library allows individuals to borrow a device for a few weeks to test out the features for free, before making a final decision. Please feel free to contact the consumer educator through if you have questions about the features of the phones.

What do I do when I no longer need the equipment?

When you no longer need the equipment, you can either keep it as a backup device or give it to someone else. You are not permitted to sell the equipment obtained from the program under any circumstances.

Pennsylvania has a recycling program for equipment. You can donate your equipment to this program for another individual to use, but you are not able to get any money for it. You may learn more about the recycling program at

Tell us how you like this TDDP webpage.

For more information, contact:

Lisa Troy
TDDP Program Manager

Voice: 800-204-7428
TTY: 866-268-0579
Voice: 215-204-5966
FAX: 215-204-6336

Telecommunication Device Distribution Program
A program of Pennsylvania's Initiative on Assistive Technology (PIAT)
1755 N. 13th Street
Student Center, Room 411S
Philadelphia, PA 19122

Institute on Disabilities at Temple University
University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research and Service