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TV and Telephone costs - Help with TV Licence Costs

Find out more about the help that may be available to pay for TV and telephone costs, depending on your situation.

Help with TV Licence Costs

The law says you need to be covered by a TV Licence to:

  • Watch or record programmes as they’re being shown on TV, on any channel

  • Watch or stream programmes live on an online TV service (such as ITV Hub, All 4, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, Now TV, Sky Go, etc.)

  • Download or watch any BBC programmes on iPlayer.

This applies to any device you use, including a TV, desktop computer, laptop, mobile phone, tablet, games console, digital box or DVD/VHS recorder.

This page gives information on:

Free licenses and Over 75s

Free TV licences, funded by the Government, for all people aged over 75 years will come to an end in July 2020. 

From 1 August 2020, there will be a new scheme which will mean anyone aged 75 or over who is receiving Pension Credit (either Guarantee or Savings Credit) will be eligible to apply for a free TV Licence, paid for by the BBC. The Pension Credit claim can be in the name of the licence holder, or in their partner’s name if they are a couple living at the same address.

If Pension Credit is not received, the TV Licence will need to be paid for.

Delays because of the coronavirus lockdown

The date that the new scheme comes into place has been delayed by two months because of the coronavirus pandemic lockdown. 

This means that if you are aged 75 or over and hold a free BBC TV licence which expires on 31 May 2020, your licence will last a further two months until 31 July 2020..

If you are currently aged 74 and turn 75 between 1 June and 31 July 2020, you can apply for a free TV licence which will expire on 31 July 2020. 

For further information on how to apply for a free TV licence, please telephone 0300 790 6073 or visit the TV Licensing website/Over 75

Discounts if you are registered blind or live with someone who is 

If you are registered blind with your local authority or live with someone who is, you qualify for a 50% reduction in the cost of your television licence. The licence has to be in the blind person’s name. If it isn’t, you can transfer it by calling TV Licensing on the number below.

For more details, call TV Licensing on: 0300 790 6071 or see TV Licensing website/Reductions for blind or severely sight impaired customers 

If you live in a care home or sheltered accommodation and TV licences

If you live in a care home or sheltered accommodation, you will need a license if you have your own TV or other equipment on which you watch programmes for which you need a licence.

If you are entitled to a free TV licence, you can move this licence to the care home. Anyone living in your old home will have to buy their own licence.

If you aren't entitled to a free TV licence, you may be able to get a discounted TV licence if your care home if your care home qualifies for an Accommodation for Residential Care (ARC) Concessionary TV Licence. This costs £7.50 per room per year. Ask your home's warden, manager or administrator about this.

For more information on TV licences and care homes, see the TV Licensing website/care homes and sheltered accommodation

Last update: June 2020

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