Free TV license: a reform to facilitate access for Pension Credit recipients | Personal finance | Finance

Under the new plans, the BBC will be able to automatically check whether someone applying for a free TV license has a pension credit. This means that, in most cases, the 7,000 people who apply for a free TV Licensing license each month can apply online or by phone, without having to provide any additional documents.

A TV license is required to watch live programming as it is broadcast in the UK.

Currently the cost of a levy is £159 per household, but some people can get a 100% discount if they meet certain criteria.

However, pension credit recipients must be over 75 to qualify for this reduction due to recent changes.

In 2020 the BBC stopped giving free TV licenses to everyone over 75 in a bid to save money from the cuts.

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Despite this, the over-75s on the pension credit were the main group allowed to continue receiving free television licenses.

This particular DWP payment is a financial supplement for those who are of statutory retirement age, which is currently 66.

This payment increases a person’s weekly income to £182.60 if they are single and joint weekly income to £278.70 if they have a significant other.

An additional £69.40 per week is also available for those with a severe disability applying for DWP Disability Benefit.


Persons aged 75 or over applying for a pension credit must apply for a free TV license as it is not distributed automatically.

Those interested in receiving an application form can contact TV Licensing by calling 0300 790 6151.

On its website, Age UK urges those eligible for pension credit to apply for it as a free TV license may be available to them.

The charity said: “As of August 1, 2020, free TV licenses for all people aged 75 and over have ended.

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“Now you need to apply for a pension credit. If you are not currently claiming it, you can check if you are eligible.

“If you already have an existing free-to-air TV license, don’t worry. You will receive a letter with what to do next and until then you don’t have to do anything as you will still be covered.

Recently, the government announced that new measures would be put in place to help people claim their free TV license faster.

Nadine Dorries, the government’s digital secretary, explained how the government’s changes will help “retirees on low incomes” the most.

Ms Dorries explained: ‘The BBC’s disappointing decision to stop providing free TV licenses to everyone over 75 has left low-income pensioners who remain eligible to jump through administrative hoops to avoid paying the fees .

“The changes mean that those who receive Pension Credit will get the savings with minimal hassle, ensuring that more people get the support they are entitled to as we tackle the cost of living and grow the economy.”

Guy Opperman, the government’s pensions minister, noted that these changes will help those who receive the DWP payment get “free” benefits faster.

He said: ‘We want everyone to be able to claim the benefits they are entitled to, including the pension credit which acts as a gateway to other benefits such as the free TV license.

“This change will help reduce the administrative burden for over-75s and put their minds at ease.”