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TV licensing, Telephone and Broadband Costs

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

1. 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 TV Licences and Over 75s

Free TV Licences, funded by the Government, for all people aged over 75 years came to an end in 2020.

If you are over 75 and you get Pension Credit, you can apply for a free TV Licence, paid by the BBC. The Pension Credit can be in your name or your partner's, if you are a couple and live at the same address.

Use the Turn2us Benefits Calculator to check if you are entitled to Pension Credit.

For further information on how to apply for a free TV Licence, please telephone 0300 790 6117 or visit the TV Licensing website/Over 75

TV Licence reductions if you, or someone you live with, are blind

If you, or someone you live, are blind (severely sight impaired), regardless of your/their age and you can provide the appropriate evidence, you are eligible to apply for a 50% reduction in the cost of your TV Licence.

The TV Licence has to be in the blind person's name.  If it isn't, you can transfer it by calling TV Licensing on: 0300 790 6112.

The licence will also cover anyone who lives with you.

For more details and a list of the evidence you can provide, please see the TV Licensing website information on  Reductions for blind or severely sight impaired customers

If you, or someone you live with, are partially sighted (sight impaired), you are not eligible for this reduction.

For more information on types of sight loss, see the RNIB website information on the criteria for certification of sight loss.

RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind People) can give support to anyone living with sight loss.

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 TV Licence if you have your own TV or other equipment for watching live TV.

If you are entitled to a free TV Licence, you can move this licence to the care home. Anyone still 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 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. July 2021

Acknowledgement

Thanks to Clare Clark from TV Licensing for her help with this information page.

 

2. Help with Telephone and BroadbandCosts: BT Home Essentials

BT Home Essentials

BT Home Essentials is a low-cost telephone and broadband package for customers who are on certain benefits. It replaces BT Basics.

New or existing BT customers can apply. You’ll also need to be receiving one of these benefits to qualify:

  • Universal Credit (all claimants)
  • Pension Credit (Guarantee Credit)
  • Employment and Support Allowance
  • Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income Support

You will need your National Insurance number when you order, so BT can check you are eligible..

For more information, see the BT Home Essentials page on the BT website.

Updated: 2 July 2021