Pension credit claimants can claim a free TV license

Pension credit claimants can claim a free TV license and save hundreds on their bills.

Television licenses are important for older generations and the traditional style of watching the normal television program is much more common among older viewers.

A Statista survey found that 93% of UK viewers aged 56 and over watch ‘linear’ TV on a weekly basis, meaning they follow the normal TV schedule.

Despite this, TV licenses may seem too expensive for some less well-off people, costing viewers £159 per year per household.

With this expense now significant as energy bills rise in April, as well as food prices affected by inflation, some retirees will benefit greatly from not having to pay for their permits.

TV licenses now cost £159, a big expense for some people

So how can they make sure they’re saving money?

Am I entitled to a free TV license?

Pensioner watching TV
Pensioners are no longer automatically entitled to free TV licenses, so check to see if they qualify

If you are over 75 and have a pension credit, you can claim a free TV licence. This covers your household, so if you live with other people they don’t have to pay for the license.

TV licenses used to be free for everyone over 75, but it was announced on August 1, 2020 that this would change to only include people claiming a pension credit.

The pension credit is a benefit for people over the statutory retirement age and supplements a person’s income if they are struggling to make ends meet.

On Secured Credit, you are entitled to a weekly top-up of £177.10 if you are single or £270.30 if you are in a relationship.

The second part of the pension credit is the savings credit. Age UK explained: “Savings credit is extra money if you have savings or if your income is above the basic state pension. It is only available to people who reached state pension age before April 6, 2016.”

How to get a free TV license?

TV license form
Pension credit claimants are already more likely to need a TV license than younger generations

Those over 75 claiming a pension credit must apply for a free television license.

While this is a useful program for people on Pension Credit, the free licenses are not automatically assigned.

You need to complete a form and you can get one by calling the TV license on 0300 790 6117. You can only apply for a free TV license by post.

Eligible persons who are blind or partially sighted should contact TV Licensing at the same number to receive a 50% discounted rate.

For those living in a nursing home or social housing, they should contact the staff where they live and they will apply for a Residential Care Accommodation License (ARC) on your behalf.

ARC licenses cost £7.50 per year if a person is under 75.