Pension Credit is now being used as the marker by which TV Licensing judge whether a person over 75 can secure a free licence. Following changes in August 2020, many over 75s will now have to pay for their licence when previously they had a free entitlement. However, the impacts on this group due to COVID-19 cannot be denied, and back in February the BBC announced a “transition period” due to the pandemic.
As a result, older Britons were given more time to sort out their arrangements and decide what steps to take going forward.
But today, that transition period comes to an end, meaning there is a moment of reckoning for those impacted.
Older people will now only be able to get a TV Licence for free if they are in receipt of Pension Credit, or a discount in other circumstances, such as if a person has a sight impairment.
If a person does wish to continue with a TV Licence – which must be held by those watching live television on any channel – then they will need to take action on Pension Credit.
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To qualify, people must live in England, Scotland or Wales and have reached state pension age.
Pension Credit tops a person’s weekly income to £177.10 if single, and a joint weekly income to £270.30 if they have a partner.
The top up is known as ‘Guarantee Credit’ and forms the first part of Pension Credit.
However, if a person has savings or a second pension, they could get the ‘Savings Credit’ part.
Aside from a free TV Licence for those over 75, recipients of Pension Credit will also be entitled to other forms of support including help with NHS costs, and Cold Weather Payments.
The BBC has confirmed nine out of 10 over 75 customers have now made arrangements for their TV Licence.
TV Licensing states: “We want to help older people become correctly licensed.
“So we’re writing to those we’ve yet to hear from to let them know we’re here to help and to encourage them to contact our specialist customer service advisers.”