Change in Relay Missouri Surcharge
Takes Effect June 1
On February 23, 2022, the Missouri Public Service Commission approved a recommendation made by the Public Service Commission Staff (PSC Staff) to adjust the current Relay Missouri surcharge that appears on the monthly telephone bills of Missouri landline telephone customers. The Relay Missouri surcharge will increase from $0.04 a month to $0.10 a month, effective June 1, 2022.
The Public Service Commission is authorized by Missouri statute (Section 209.259) to oversee the Relay Missouri fund which is used to provide services and equipment for deaf, hard of hearing and speech-impaired consumers who are unable to use traditional telecommunications equipment. A Relay Missouri Advisory Committee helps the Public Service Commission oversee the provisioning of these services. The Relay Missouri fund also supports the equipment program administered by Missouri Assistive Technology.
The Public Service Commission is striving to maintain the Relay Missouri fund’s balance to be within a target range of five to nine months of expenses. The current $0.04 a month surcharge was established in 2017 to deliberately reduce the fund’s balance to be within this target range.
The PSC Staff examined all factors affecting the fund balance and recommended to the Public Service Commission that the surcharge increase from $0.04 to $0.10 a month. Various options for phasing-in the surcharge were subsequently explored but the Commission ultimately approved the PSC Staff recommendation.
"Adopting Staff’s recommendation to increase the surcharge from $0.04 to $0.10 will allow the fund to remain solvent and available for those customers who need it,” said the Commission.
The Missouri General Assembly established Relay Missouri in 1990. The surcharge level is periodically reviewed by the Commission according to the requirements established by Missouri statutes.