Note: see session law sections for effective dates.
A person applying for a telecommunications device under this section must apply to the program administrator on a form prescribed by the Department of Human Services.
To be eligible to obtain a telecommunications device under this section, a person must:
(1) be able to benefit from and use the equipment for its intended purpose;
(2) have a communication disability;
(3) be a resident of the state;
(4) be a resident in a household that has a median income at or below the applicable median household income in the state, except a person who is deafblind applying for a Braille device may reside in a household that has a median income no more than 150 percent of the applicable median household income in the state; and
(5) be a resident in a household that has telecommunications service or that has made application for service and has been assigned a telephone number; or a resident in a residential care facility, such as a nursing home or group home where telecommunications service is not included as part of overall service provision.
The commissioner of human services shall purchase and distribute a sufficient number of telecommunications devices so that each eligible household receives appropriate devices as determined under section 237.51, subdivision 5a. The commissioner of human services shall distribute the devices to eligible households free of charge.
The commissioner of human services shall maintain the telecommunications devices until the warranty period expires, and provide training, without charge, to first-time users of the devices.
Telecommunications devices purchased pursuant to subdivision 3 are the property of the state of Minnesota. Policies and procedures for the return of devices from individuals who withdraw from the program or whose eligibility status changes shall be determined by the commissioner of human services.
The telecommunications devices distributed under this section must comply with the electronic industries alliance standards and be approved by the Federal Communications Commission. The commissioner of human services must provide each eligible person a choice of several models of devices, the retail value of which may not exceed $600 for a text telephone, and a retail value of $7,000 for a Braille device, or an amount authorized by the Department of Human Services for all other telecommunications devices and auxiliary equipment it deems cost-effective and appropriate to distribute according to sections 237.51 to 237.56.