Can’t Pay Your Phone Bill?
Telephone Assistance Program Helps Residents “Stay Connected”
OLYMPIA, Wash. – Staying connected to local telephone services can improve and possibly save lives. Gov. Jay Inslee has declared Sept. 9-15 Washington Telephone Assistance Program (WTAP) Awareness Week to promote the telephone rate discounts that help residents maintain access to basic phone service.
The week is part of a national effort sponsored by the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC), the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and the National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates (NASUCA).
Residents who participate in or are eligible for certain public-assistance programs, such as Food Assistance or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) from the state Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS), are entitled to receive local telephone service for about $8 per month plus taxes and fees. WTAP also provides a reduced or no-cost service installation for qualifying households that do not currently have telephone service.
To apply for WTAP benefits contact your local landline telephone company and provide your DSHS client identification number.
For more information on the WTAP program, contact DSHS at 1-888-700-8880 or www.dshs.wa.gov
If you have problems signing up for WTAP benefits, call the UTC at 1-888-333-WUTC (9882) or visit www.utc.wa.gov/consumers
The UTC regulates the rates and services of telecommunications companies, investor-owned electric utilities, natural gas and water companies, garbage-collection haulers, household-goods movers and charter-bus companies, commercial ferries, pipeline companies, and a low-level radioactive waste repository.