Could you be entitled to a free or discounted TV licence? Eligibility rules explained


The rules regarding who qualifies for a free TV licence changed in 2020 when the BBC stopped providing free TV licences for all over 75-year-olds. However, four groups of Britons could ask for a refund of £159 on their TV licence or apply for a discount from TV Licensing.

TV licences for the over-75s were free from November 2000 until the end of July 2020, when the BBC announced the licence would only be waived for over-75s in receipt of pension credit.

The concession was received by around 4.5 million households but is now only received by around one million pensioners.

It’s been a bone of contention as many people think the BBC should offer more free TV licences to assist pensioners and vulnerable groups.

While everyone under 75-years-old must pay for a licence, some people should qualify for a reduction.

READ MORE: Benefit claimants could qualify for 30 freeebies worth thousands

People also don’t need to pay the BBC fee if they don’t watch live TV or catch up on any channels including BBC iplayer.

Those who only watch YouTube, Netflix and other streaming services might be able to claim a refund saving themselves £13.25 a month.

On the TV Licensing website it says: “Please check you won’t need your licence again before it expires.

“That means you won’t ever be watching TV live on any channel or service, or using BBC iPlayer. If we approve your refund, your licence will be cancelled automatically.”

READ MORE: Benefit claimants could qualify for 30 freeebies worth thousands

Meanwhile, 270,000 more Britons cancelled their TV licence in 2021 than usual but readers said they are surprised it wasn’t more. 

The number of domestic customers declaring that they did not require a licence reached 1.96 million in 2021 to 2022, according to official figures from the BBC.

One reader @johngeorge said: “Surprised it is not a lot more – are these figures correct?”

Another @terminator wrote: “I bet there are at least another three million who have stopped paying and haven’t declared that they don’t need a licence to watch live as shown on TV or iPlayer?”


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