Telephone Assistance Program (TAP) effort kicked off
by Joint release from the Wyoming Public Service Commission and the Wyoming Department of Family Services
September 18, 2009
CHEYENNE - The Wyoming Public Service Commission and the Wyoming Department of Family Services are encouraging people to sign up for the Telephone Assistance Program.
The program, commonly called TAP, refers generally to a few programs that help bring telephone service to income-eligible households in Wyoming. One simple application can help a family or elder afford phone service.
Through the Lifeline and TAP programs, a customer could save as much as $13.50 a month on phone service. A Native American Indian tribal community member could qualify for as much as $38.50 in monthly discounts. At the same time, Link-Up America provides a discount on telephone service installation in homes.
"We know how important it is for a parent or an elder to have phone access in cases of emergency, not just convenience," DFS Director Tony Lewis said. "This program helps those folks."
To qualify, a person completes a one-page application, provides a copy of a letter or benefits card showing they are enrolled in a social services program such as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, LowIncome Energy Assistance Program or KidCare/CHIP, and sends it to their telephone service provider. Applications are available from telephone service providers and on the Web sites of the PSC (in English only) at http://psc.state.wy.us/htdocs/telco/tap.htm and DFS in Spanish and English at http://dfsweb.state.wy.us. Applications also are being mailed with applications for the home heating help program, LIEAP.
"Fewer than 6,000 Wyoming customers are enrolled in these programs, and we know based on the number of people approved for other social programs significantly more folks are eligible than have applied in the past," PSC Chairman Al Minier said. "In economically challenging times the cost savings and access to this essential telephone service is extremely important in our rural state."
The effort to promote the program also has the support of Gov. Dave Freudenthal, who signed a proclamation declaring Sept. 14-20, 2009 "Telephone Assistance Awareness Week."