A No-Cost* Hearing Loss Solution for Veterans

If you’re like over 1.1 million veterans, you have some degree of hearing loss, which can make talking on the telephone extremely frustrating, if not impossible. Fortunately, there is a solution!

What is it?

It’s a Hamilton CapTel® captioned telephone. A captioned telephone works like any other phone and it displays captions so you can listen and read what the other person says over the phone—similar to captions on television.

How is the phone available at no cost?

Rules are set forth by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that allow captioned telephones to be made available at no cost to individuals with qualified hearing loss. Captioned telephone service is federally-funded, and the result of the Americans With Disabilities Act which requires equal access to telecommunications for individuals who have difficulty hearing over the phone.

How can I get one?

You can receive a phone at no cost by submitting this form signed by a professional qualified to certify hearing loss, such as a doctor, audiologist, hearing-aid specialist or Veterans Service Officer (VSO). Just follow these simple steps:

  • Give your doctor, audiologist, hearing-aid specialist or VSO the following URL: org/certificate-of-hearing-loss-order-form/
  • Have your doctor, audiologist, hearing-aid specialist or VSO verify your hearing loss by completing and submitting the form
  • That’s it—you’re done! In just a few weeks your captioned telephone will arrive.

What’s the catch?

There is no catch! The captioned telephone and captioning service3 are truly available at no-cost. However, there are some things (that you probably already have) that you’ll need in order to receive captions:

  • Home telephone service
  • Power source
  • Dedicated telephone jack for the captioned telephone
  • High-speed Internet service (Hamilton CapTel 840 model captioned telephone does not require Internet)

Which phone should I choose?

  • Hamilton CapTel 2400i: If you have high-speed Internet and prefer a large display with touch-screen navigation, Bluetooth® connectivity and speakerphone capability, the Hamilton CapTel 2400i model phone is a good fit for you.
  • Hamilton CapTel 840i: If you prefer using traditional push-buttons to access menu features and have high-speed Internet, you should consider the Hamilton CapTel 840i model phone.
  • Hamilton CapTel 840: If you don’t have access to high-speed Internet, the Hamilton CapTel 840 model phone is available.

Has using a captioned telephone made phone calls easier for you? We want to hear your story. Tell us in the comments!

*Independent third-party professional certification required.


References

1U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. (2015). Veterans Benefits Administration Annual Benefits Report Fiscal Year 2015. Retrieved from: benefits.va.gov/REPORTS/abr/ABR-ALL_SECTIONS-FY15-12122016.pdf.

2The captioning service is provided at no cost. Equipment charges and standard long distance charges may apply.

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