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Western Kentucky University

IT Division - Cellular

FAQ

Whom does the Cellular Allowance Policy apply to?
This policy applies to all WKU employees who have a university paid mobile voice/data communication device.
Why was this policy established?
The impracticality of an individual carrying two devices just to separate personal and business calls and the administrative time involved for each person to track all of their calls, check statements, process reimbursements, and have their supervisor audit this process is far too resource intensive. WKU determined the cellular allowance was the best method to alleviate these inconveniences for everyone. In many cases this will be a benefit for both parties.
Am I able to keep my existing cellular phone number?
Yes. However, you must inform your new carrier that you want to keep your existing number. The number will be moved over to a personal AT&T account if you wish to stay with them. If you move to a different carrier, they will “port” the number over from AT&T. During this short time period you will probably have to carry both your old phone and your new phone. As soon as the porting of your number is accomplished your service will be available through the new phone only.
Must I stay with AT&T as my carrier?
No. You may select the carrier of your choice. However, please keep in mind that cellular phone equipment is carrier specific. If you chose to go with another carrier, you will need to purchase a new device from that carrier and return your AT&T device to your department.
How do I know what cellular device or monthly plan to choose?
The device and plan you select will be based on several factors. You should consider both business and personal service coverage. You should consider your calling patterns. Is unlimited long distance necessary? Would free mobile to mobile minutes be a plus? What are the chances that you may exceed your base plan minutes and be required to pay expensive overage minutes? We recommend that you shop around and speak with the different vendor reps before making a decision.
What if my choice doesn’t work out for me?
You should take full advantage of any trial periods offered by the vendors. Pay strict attention to your level of service during that period and return the phone and cancel the plan if you are not receiving the level of service you need.
Do I have the option to get a smart phone – PDA/Phone combination?
If your job requires that you have access to email, calendaring or other PDA functions, your supervisor may approve the purchase of a specific smart phone, PC card or other device that is required to perform your job. If you want a smart phone, but your job doesn’t require it, you will be responsible for the purchase of the device.
If my phone is more than 2 years old, how much allowance will I receive to replace it?
The maximum allowed is $200 for a hand held device, where advanced features such as email and calendar integration are required (most basic cell service plans provide free phones). In order to receive the allowance you must purchase the device and submit a copy of the invoice/receipt along with form 16 for approval. You will be reimbursed for the cost of the device up to the allowable amount.
If I decide to use a Blackberry/iPhone/PDA device, will I still be able to synchronize my e‐ mail?
Yes. This service will still be provided by the Information Technology Division. Please contact the WKU Communication Technologies Department for more information if you would like to have your device synchronized with your e‐mail and calendar.
Does everyone get an allowance for a personally owned cell phone?
No. You should only receive an allowance if your job requires that you carry a cell phone where other less expensive means of communication are not adequate.
If I meet the criteria for a cellular phone stipend, when can I expect to receive my allowance?
For all EPAF’s processed and completed before June 1st, you will see your allowance added to your June monthly pay. For all EPAF’s processed after June 1st; once the EPAF has completed the approval process you will see the allowance added to your monthly pay.
After I transfer my WKU‐owned cellular phone and service to a personal account, do I still have to document business and personal calls?
No. This requirement is only for equipment and services owned and paid by the University.
Is the allowance that I receive for my own cellular phone taxable?
Yes. The cellular and equipment allowance amount is taxable income. Otherwise you would be required to provide detailed documentation of your business and personal calls.
What happens if my phone is damaged, lost, or stolen?
Once the phone is transferred to a personal account, the employee is responsible for the phone. Most vendors have insurance to cover many of their devices. If the vendor does not have insurance for the device, you may check with your home owners insurance to see if they have coverage.
How does this policy affect departments that share a cell phone among multiple employees?
The Communication Technologies Department will maintain an account with a wireless provider only to maintain services needed for non‐individual use.
Under what circumstances can a department own a wireless device?
If it is used 100% for business or if there are other extenuating circumstances such as a shared voice/data device that does not leave the campus and is turned in by each employee at the end of his/her shift (See Section 8 of Policy).
Can I use my Department Pro‐card to pay for cellular phone equipment and/or services?
No
How often must employees submit a Cell Phone Allowance Request Form?
A Cellular Allowance Request (via EPAF) must be submitted annually, at least 3 weeks prior to the end May. The form 16 can be used to request reimbursement for the purchase of a replacement cellular phone (however, this can only be done once every 24 months). When requesting a reimbursement for the purchase of a replacement cellular phone, copies of purchase receipts must be provided to your supervisor.
If I leave the University after receiving a cellular equipment allowance, am I required to return the device or reimburse WKU for a portion of the amount paid?
No. Once you have transferred the service to a personal account, the employee owns the equipment and service.
Where can I find the application for setting up my allowance?
The cellular allowance procedures can be found in the policy.
What is the appropriate account number to use for the allowance program?
Please follow the instructions for the EPAF and Form 16 which will explain what accounts to use.

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 Last Modified 9/25/14