Anyone who is eligible to a TV licence free of charge must provide documentation to the BBC in order to prove that they are entitled to it. But, the rules have changed so the BBC can instead verify with the DWP.
Under a new government shake-up, thousands of pensioners will be eligible for a free TV license.
Except for those who claim pension credit, free TV licenses for seniors over 75 years old were eliminated in 2020.
Current rules state that anyone who has a right to a free TV license must submit documentation to the BBC to verify they are entitled to Pension Credit.
As part of a system overhaul, the BBC will soon have the ability to automatically verify the information with the Department for Work and Pensions.
In most cases, this will mean that households can apply online or over the telephone without needing to provide additional paperwork.
Today’s Parliamentary session saw the introduction of a statutory instrument that amends the Television Licences Act 2000.
These changes are expected to take effect in the next year. A full colour TV licence costs £159.
Nadine Dorries, Digital Secretary, said: “The BBC’s disappointing decision to stop providing free TV licences for all over-75s has left low-income pensioners who remain eligible jumping through administrative hoops to avoid paying the charge.
“The changes mean those receiving Pension Credit will get the savings with minimum fuss, ensuring more people get the support they are entitled to as we tackle the cost of living and grow the economy.
Minister for Pensions Guy Opperman said: “We want everyone to claim the benefits to which they are entitled, including Pension Credit which acts as a gateway for other benefits such as the free TV licence.
“This change will help reduce the administrative burden on over-75s and put their minds at ease.”
What is Pension Credit?
The Government has released the latest figures indicating that 850,000 people have not claimed their Pension Credit.
Pension Credit is a benefit that increases the income of retired people so they can live a decent life.
The average annual income boost through Pension Credit is roughly £3,300 a year, according to Government figures.
The two-part pension credit is divided into two parts. You might be eligible for either one or both, depending upon your circumstances.
Your weekly income can be increased by the Guarantee Credit component of Pension Credit
- £182.60 if you’re single
- £278.70 if you have a partner
You might be eligible for Pension Credit’s Savings Credit element if you have reached state pension age prior to April 6, 2016.
It is possible to reach:
- £14.48 if you’re single
- £16.20 if you’re a couple
If you have additional responsibilities or costs such as high rent or caring for someone with a disability, you may be eligible to receive extra money.
For example, you could get an extra £69.40 a week if you claim certain disability benefits or an extra £38.85 a week if you receive Carer’s Allowance.
If you’re responsible for children or young people, you could get an extra £56.35 a week for each person in your care.
This is increased to £66.85 a week for the first child if they were born before April 6, 2017.
If the child or young person is disabled, you could also get an extra amount of £30.58 to £95.48 a week if they get certain benefits.
All the additional top-ups available and their rates can be viewed on the Gov.uk website.