Earlier this year it was revealed that the Government was handing over the job of providing free TV licences for the over-75s, to the BBC and they were considering removing this right.
A petition was launched as many people, including us, believed that over-75s should still be entitled to a free licence.
Unfortunately, it was recently announced that from June 2020, the BBC will no longer be providing free TV licenses for people over the age of 75, meaning many older people who live on low income will now have an additional bill of £150.50, which is the current cost of an annual colour licence, to pay.
Research shows that more than 50,000 UK pensioners could be pushed below the poverty line because of this, however they could still receive a free licence if they are in receipt of Pension Credit.
Many people who are entitled to Pension Credit aren’t aware of it or do not claim it, so now is the time to see if you or a loved-one is entitled to any help. If you are, you could also be entitled to a free TV licence.
Pension Credit is a benefit for people who are on a low income and have reached retirement age. It comes in two parts: Guarantee Credit, which tops up a weekly income to a guaranteed minimum level. For a single person this will be £167.25 or £255.25 for a couple. Or Savings Credit, which is extra money for people who have saved something towards their retirement. This will be £13.73 extra per week for a single person or £15.35 for a couple.
If you are entitled to Pension Credit, as well as being entitled to a free TV licence, you may also be entitled to receive free NHS dental treatment, a cold weather payment or housing benefit towards rent.
To make a claim you can call the Pension Credit claim line on 0800 99 1234. You will need your National Insurance Number, bank account details, information about your income/savings/investments and your pension as well as details about your housing costs.
Your local Age UK can also help you make a claim. Call Age Cymru on 0800 022 3444.
Many of our service users are over the age of 75 and we don’t want to see them struggle due to the new TV licence rules, so we will be advising many of them and their families to see if they might be entitled to Pension Credit and therefore entitled to a free TV licence.