The Residential Service Protection Fund (RSPF) was started in 1987 to ensure the availability of affordable residential telephone service to all Oregonians. The fund is used to support three very important assistance programs through the Public Utility Commission. The RSPF is supported by a tax that Oregonians can find on their monthly landline or wireless telephone bills. The RSPF supports OTAP, TDAP and OTRS.
If you or a family member receives one of the following types of benefits you may be eligible for up to $13.50 worth of credit towards your monthly phone bill through the Oregon Telephone Assistance Program (OTAP):
Lifeline can be applied to a wireless phone as well but each household may only choose one – either a discount on your wireless phone plan or on your landline phone.
If you qualify for lifeline then you also qualify for Link-Up. Link Up is a program that will pay 50% of your installation charges for your phone service up to $30.00.
If you or a family member is deaf, hearing, vision, speech or mobility impaired, you may be able to receive specialized telephone equipment at no cost. The PUC is able to loan out the following types of equipment to eligible Oregonians. Unlike the OTAP program these loans are not based on income:
In order to receive the equipment, you must complete an application and provide the PUC with certification from one of the following professionals:
OTRS is a free service that allows hearing and speech impaired individuals to place and receive calls through specially trained Relay Operators. There is no charge to use OTRS for placing local calls. Long distance rates on the other hand depend on your telephone service provider. There are a number of services available:
The SGD Program is part of the TDAP program described above. It provides speech generating devices to Oregonians in need on a “first come, first serve basis”. It’s important to try to get a SGD through privated insurance, Medicaid or Medicare before applying for an SGD through the TDAP program.
The program has devices from the following manufacturers available: