WSR 01-04-070



(Economic Services Administration)

[ Filed February 5, 2001, 4:57 p.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 00-09-034.

Title of Rule: Chapter 388-31 WAC, Washington telephone assistance program.

Purpose: This revision is being done to meet the requirements of the WAC migration of Title 388 WAC. Chapter 388-31 WAC will be repealed. The chapter was rewritten to meet the standards of Executive Order No. 97-02, and is now being incorporated into chapter 388-273 WAC.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 80.36.440, 74.08.090.

Statute Being Implemented: Chapters 74.08 and 80.36 RCW.

Summary: The rules were rewritten to meet the WAC migration and clear writing mandates.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: Carla Gira, Program Manager, Lacey Government Center, 1009 College Street S.E., Lacey, WA 98503, (360) 413-3264.

Name of Proponent: Department of Social and Health Services, governmental.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: This rule explains what the Washington telephone assistance program is, who is eligible, and what the benefits are.

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: Chapter 388-31 WAC is being repealed. The rule has been rewritten and moved to chapter 388-273 WAC.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. This rule does not impact small business.

RCW 34.05.328 applies to this rule adoption. The rule meets the definition of a "significant legislative rule" but DSHS is exempt from preparing a cost benefit analysis under RCW 34.05.328 (5)(b)(vii).

Hearing Location: Blake Office Park (behind Goodyear Courtesy Tire), 4500 10th Avenue S.E., Rose Room, Lacey, WA 98503, on March 13, 2001, at 10:00 a.m.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Kelly Cooper, DSHS Rules Coordinator, by March 6, 2001, phone (360) 664-6094, TTY (360) 664-6178, e-mail

Submit Written Comments to: Identify WAC Numbers, DSHS Rules Coordinator, Rules and Policies Assistance Unit, P.O. Box 45850, Olympia, WA 98504-5850, fax (360) 664-6185, by March 13, 2001.

Date of Intended Adoption: No sooner than March 14, 2001.

February 1, 2001

Bonita H. Jacques, Chief

Office of Legal Affairs

Chapter 388-273 WAC


WAC 388-273-0010   Purpose of the Washington telephone assistance program.   The Washington telephone assistance program (WTAP) is designed to help low-income households afford access to local telephone service. For the purposes of this chapter, "we" and "us" mean the department of social and health services (DSHS). "You" means the person who is applying and eligible for WTAP.


WAC 388-273-0020   Who may receive WTAP.   To receive WTAP benefits, you must:

(1) Be receiving from us:

(a) Temporary assistance for needy families (TANF);

(b) State family assistance (SFA);

(c) General assistance;

(d) Refugee assistance;

(e) Food assistance;

(f) Supplemental Security Income (SSI);

(g) Medical assistance, including Medicare cost sharing programs;

(h) Community options program entry system (COPES); or

(i) Chore services.

(2) Be age eighteen or older or, if under eighteen, be the responsible head of household;

(3) Apply to the local exchange company that provides your local flat rate telephone service. In exchange areas where wireline service is not available without service extension, you may apply to an eligible wireless carrier;

(a) "Local exchange company" means an eligible telecommunication carrier providing local service, i.e., the telephone company.

(b) "Flat rate service" is telephone service with a single monthly payment that allows unlimited local calling for a specified length of time. The local exchange flat rate includes any federal end user access charges and other charges necessary to obtain the service.

(4) Have the lowest available flat rate service; and

(5) Have the local telephone service billed in your name.


WAC 388-273-0025   Benefits you receive as a WTAP participant.   (1) WTAP participants receive a:

(a) Discount on local telephone flat rate services, when the flat rate is more than the WTAP assistance rate;

(b) Waiver of deposit requirements on local telephone service; and

(c) Fifty percent discount on service connection fees. Any connection fee discounts available from other programs are added to the WTAP discount, to pay part or all of the remaining fifty percent.

(2) WTAP benefits are limited to one residential line per household.

(3) The deposit waiver and the discount on connection fees are available once per service year. "Service year" means the period beginning July 1 and ending June 30 of the following calendar year.

(4) Your benefits begin the date you are approved for WTAP assistance and continue through the next June 30.


WAC 388-273-0030   How you can apply for WTAP.   (1) You can apply for WTAP by contacting the local telephone company.

(2) The telephone company contacts us to verify that you are eligible for benefits under WAC 388-273-0020 before they add WTAP to your telephone account.

(3) You will know you are receiving WTAP benefits when you have a WTAP credit on your telephone bill.


WAC 388-273-0035   What we reimburse the local telephone company.   (1) Within available funding limits, we reimburse local telephone companies for fully documented administrative and program expenses associated with WTAP. The reimbursable expenses are limited to:

(a) Program services provided after eligibility for WTAP is verified;

(b) Correct, verifiable billing items;

(c) Invoices submitted within ninety days following the month the expense occurred;

(d) Items charged in error that have been corrected within sixty days from the date we return the report of invoicing error to the local phone company;

(e) Salaries and benefits for time required to implement and maintain WTAP, with the exception that time required for the correction of case number and client identification errors is not an allowable expense;

(f) Travel expenses for attending hearings, meetings, or training pertaining to WTAP;

(g) Expenses for supplies and materials for implementing and maintaining WTAP;

(h) Postage and handling for delivery of WTAP material;

(i) Administrative charge for change of service orders specified by tariffs; and

(j) Documented indirect costs associated with implementing and maintaining WTAP.



     The following sections of the Washington Administrative Code are repealed:
WAC 388-31-010 Purpose of program.
WAC 388-31-015 Definitions.
WAC 388-31-020 Conditions of eligibility.
WAC 388-31-025 WTAP benefits.
WAC 388-31-030 Notification and eligibility periods.
WAC 388-31-035 WTAP fund.

Washington State Code Reviser's Office