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Can’t Pay Your Phone Bill?
Telephone Assistance Program Helps You “Stay Connected”
Gov. Chris Gregoire has signed a proclamation declaring Sept. 13-17 Washington Telephone Assistance Program (WTAP) Awareness Week, in coordination with a national effort sponsored by the state 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). During this week the UTC and community partners will promote the WTAP rate discounts that help residents maintain access to basic telephone service.
“Access to local emergency services and community resources is vital to all state residents,” says Jeff Goltz, chairman of the UTC. “We want our low-income and elderly residents to ‘stay connected’ and are reaching out to those who need phone service but can’t afford it.”
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 telephone company and provide your DSHS client identification number.
The UTC will join Community Voice Mail and the Solid Ground Food Bank of Seattle to distribute WTAP materials at the following time and location:
Friday, Sept. 17
11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Solid Ground Food Bank
1501 North 45th Street
Seattle, WA 98103-6708
For more information on the WTAP program, contact DSHS at 1-888-700-8880 or www.dshs.wa.gov. For information on the Community Voice Mail program visit www.cvm.org.
If you have problems signing up for WTAP benefits, call the UTC at 1-888-333-WUTC (9882) or visit www.utc.wa.gov/consumer.
The UTC is the state agency in charge of regulating the rates and services of telephone companies operating in Washington.
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