Washington State Department of Social and Health Services Home page

Washington Telephone Assistance Program

What it is:

The Washington Telephone Assistance Program (WTAP) helps low-income households afford telephone services.  Access to a telephone is considered a basic necessity - allowing you to call emergency 911, get medical and social services; connect with employers, community, family and friends.


What WTAP helps with:

WTAP helps by discounting wireline phone service.  If you’re not able to get a traditional phone, WTAP provides no-cost community voice mail.  WTAP does not help with cell phones.


WTAP assists you by:

  • Discounting ½ of the connection fee up to $22 when you move residences
  • Discounting the monthly basic service. You would pay $8 plus taxes per month for basic service (unlimited local calling).You pay for any additional features such as voice mail or call-forwarding.
  • Waiving the first $16 when a deposit is required for local service. The deposit may be completely waived if you agree to have toll limitation (no long distance).
  • Offering special payment options for those who have outstanding balances with their local telephone companies.

If you live where you can’t get a traditional telephone, you may be able to get a no-cost community voice mail box which provides you with a personal telephone number where people can call and leave you a message


Who is eligible:

  • Low-income adults who are receiving ongoing DSHS medical, financial or food assistance benefits. Adult payees receiving benefits on behalf of a child is not eligible for WTAP; or
  • Former clients of Community Voice Mail who are referred to WTAP by their Community Voice Mail office.

If you are found eligible for WTAP, you would:

Call your local telephone company, and ask for the WTAP discount.  See below for telephone companies that provide a WTAP discount.


Time Limitations:

The WTAP service year begins July 1 and ends June 30.  For example, if you become WTAP-eligible in December 2013, you will continue to be WTAP-eligible until June 30, 2014.  As long as you are getting qualifying DSHS benefits, you will continue to be eligible for WTAP.


How you apply for WTAP:

  • Call your local telephone company, and request the WTAP discount. The telephone company will contact WTAP to make sure you’re eligible before giving you a discount.
  • The person who is eligible for WTAP must have their name on the telephone billing.
  • WTAP benefits begin the date you call the telephone company, and the telephone company verifies your eligibility with the WTAP office.

Telephone companies that provide the WTAP discount:

Asotin (TDS)

509-243-4111

Ellensburg (Fairpoint)

509-925-1425

Hat Island 360-444-1122

Hood Canal

360-898-2481

Inland

509-649-2211

Kalama

360-673-2755

Lewis River (TDS)

360-985-2111

McDaniel (TDS)

360-263-2191

Century Link (formerly CenturyTel)

1-800-201-4099

Pioneer

509-549-3511

Tenino

360-264-2915

Toledo

360-864-4552

Century Link (Formerly Embarq)

1-800-877-1125

Wahkiakum West

360-465-2211

Whidbey

360-321-1122

YCom (Fairpoint)

360-458-2171

Century Link (Formerly Qwest)

1-800-244-1111

Rainier Connect

360-832-6161

Pend Oreille

208-366-2840

Skyline (Midvale)

1-800-462-4523

Frontier

1-877-462-8188


Community service voice mail offices

More details about Community Voice Mail can be found at http://www.cvm.org.

Bellingham

360-734-5121, x233

Cowlitz-Wahkiakum

360-425-3430, x281

North Central WA

509-662-6156, x238

Seattle

206-694-6771

Skagit County

360-416-7585, x1106

South Central WA

509-545-4042, x230

Snohomish County

425-259-3191, x13001

Spokane

509-624-4282, x206

South Sound

253-284-9009

Vancouver

360-699-5106 x102

Portland

503-280-4775