The Washington Telephone Assistance Program (WTAP) provides landline telephone rate discounts to low-income households.

WTAP is designed to make sure low-income families throughout the state have affordable telephone service for access to vital resources and emergency services.

Cheaper installation

WTAP pays for some or all of the cost to start your phone service if there is already a phone line in your home. 

No deposit

You will not have to pay a deposit when you sign up for the WTAP program.

Low monthly charge

Basic local phone service is $8 a month plus taxes and fees. WTAP pays for only one local phone line per household. The assistance program does not pay for long-distance calls or optional services such as Call Waiting, Caller ID or Voicemail.  

Community Voicemail

For people who cannot get local phone service, WTAP may provide a voice mailbox service. If you do not qualify for the WTAP program, you may be eligible for a free voice mailbox through the Community Voice Mail program, for more information visit www.cvm.org.

How to qualify

You qualify if you receive financial assistance from the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS), such as:  

  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
  • Food Stamps
  • Supplemental Security Income
  • Medical Assistance
  • Refugee Assistance
  • DSHS Chore Services
  • Community Options Program
  • General Assistance

Tribal Lifeline and Link-Up Programs

If you live on a federally recognized reservation, you may be able to save even more money on your phone bill through the federal Tribal Lifeline and Link-Up programs. Call your local phone company to find out if you qualify for this program. For more information on Tribal Lifeline and Link-Up, visit http://www.fcc.gov/indians/financialassistance.html.

Wireless Assistance

Some wireless phone companies offer federal Lifeline assistance. Lifeline benefits may be applied to only one type of service, landline or wireless, and to one line per household. If you are eligible for benefits, you must choose which service would best fit your needs. Contact your wireless company to see if it provides Lifeline benefits.

To Sign Up

To apply for WTAP, call your local telephone company with your DSHS client identification number.

If you need help signing up for the WTAP program contact the commission:

Toll Free – 1-888-333-WUTC (9882) or fill out an Online Complaint Form.

Need help?  Call the commission!

Commission staff are always ready to answer questions about regulated companies. We can help you with problems regarding their service, rates and billing practices. Please try to resolve your complaint directly with the company first. If you feel you have given them adequate time to correct the problem, and you are still not satisfied, call the commission for help at 1-888-333-WUTC (9882) or e-mail consumer@utc.wa.gov.