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Updates Coming To State's NSTEP Program

Updates Coming To State's NSTEP Program



Lincoln, May 15, 2024- Beginning in July, qualified individuals
receiving assistance from the Nebraska Specialized
Telecommunications Equipment Program (NSTEP) will notice
some updates to the program as a result of legislation (LB 1031)
passed during the 2024 legislative session.

Administered by the Nebraska Public Service Commission (PSC),
NSTEP assists qualified individuals who are deaf, have visual/
hearing loss, or a speech disability obtain specialized
telecommunications equipment.

“The NSTEP program helps to provide the deaf, hard of hearing
and visually impaired community access to telecommunication
devices essential for their everyday lives,” said Commission Chair
Dan Watermeier. “We want to thank everyone who worked to help
make this process even more accessible to those in need of these

“NCDDH is proud to have collaborated with the PSC since the
establishment of NSTEP,” NCDHH Lead Advocacy Specialists,
Kim Davis said. “The updates to the NSTEP program are a
positive and necessary step in adapting to the constant evolvement
of telecommunication devices and equipment.”

The new law updates the eligibility standards and criteria to allow
two qualified residents living at the same address to receive
telecommunications equipment. Previously only one resident per
household was allowed to receive assistance. It also allows a
recipient of telecommunications equipment to reapply for NSTEP
assistance every three years instead of every five years.

To be eligible to receive a wireless device (cellphone) or other
qualified telecommunication equipment as a part of NSTEP,
residents must complete an application, including a certification
by a professional that the applicant is deaf, hard of hearing, or
has speech impairment.

Once deemed eligible, applicants will receive a voucher that they
can take to a participating vendor. The voucher will cover the cost
of the equipment up to $1,000. Participants are responsible for
any monthly fees associated with the device, including a required
data plan, if applicable.

Information on NSTEP and how residents can qualify for a voucher
to be used toward the cost of a mobile wireless device or to apply
for other telecommunications equipment can be found on the
For Consumer TRS/NSTEP page of the PSC website or
the NSTEP page of the Nebraska Commission for the Deaf and
Hard of Hearing (NCDDH)
website. ###

Deb Collins- PSC Communications & Media Mgr.
(402) 471-0226 / deb.collins@nebraska.gov

Kelsey Cruz- Marketing and Communications Specialist
Nebraska Commission for the Deaf and hard of Hearing (NCDHH)
(402) 471-3593 / Kelsey.cruz@nebraska.gov

NSTEP Updates

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