Financial Assistance Programs

OREGON TELEPHONE ASSISTANCE/LIFELINE
Eligible customers receive a reduction in their phone bill for as long as they qualify. Half of the amount is funded through the legislatively-approved telecommunications service surcharge, and the other half is the waived portion of the FCC´s subscriber line charge.  It is important that those enrolled in the program keep OTAP staff informed of any phone number or address changes to insure that their benefits continue. Lifeline is available on one telephone or broadband line per household. Toll Blocking and/or toll control is available for free to Lifeline subscribers. Lifeline discount is only available with basic service. All information is treated as strictly confidential by OTAP staff and the local phone companies.

ELIGIBILITY: According to the Public Utility Commission of Oregon, eligibility is determined by participation in one of the following programs:

• Food Stamps / Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
• Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
• Federal Public Housing Assistance (Section 8)
• Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefits
• Certain State Medical Programs or Certain Medicaid Programs at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Level
• Tribal Specific Programs

Proof of eligibility may be necessary for enrollment.

Lifeline subscribers receive the same residential service as a regular subscriber, but at a reduced monthly recurring rate. Thus, lifeline subscribers have an unlimited number of local calling minutes. As for toll, lifeline subscribers, similar to every Pioneer Telephone Cooperative subscriber, are free to choose their own toll usage plans through long distance providers that serve Pioneer Telephone Cooperative. Only one Lifeline discount is allowed per household. A household is not permitted to receive Lifeline benefits from multiple providers.

Telecommunication Devices Access Program (TDAP)
The Telecommunication Devices Access Program (TDAP) purchases and loans (at no cost to eligible recipients) special telecommunication devices to Oregonians who are deaf, hearing-and/or speech-impaired, or who have other physical disabilities that would prevent them from using a telephone.

The Oregon Telecommunications Relay Service (OTRS)
Customers who have TTY (text telephone for the deaf, hearing, or speech impaired) may dial 7-1-1 to reach a relay operator. The relay operator types the conversation to the TTY user. Voice, or standard, users may also use OTRS to contact their deaf, hard of hearing, or speech disabled family or friends.

How To Apply
To apply for TDAP equipment, obtain an application for OTAP/Lifeline, or for more information about the Residential Service Protection Fund (RSPF) Programs, please contact the RSPF staff TOLL FREE at 1-800-848-4442 or (503) 373-7171; TTY users can call 1-800-648-3458. Email: puc.rspf@state.or.us

Public Utility Commission of Oregon RSPF
PO Box 2148 • Salem OR 97308-2148

Information taken from the Oregon Public Utility Board’s website:
http://www.puc.state.or.us