The BBC has announced that it is scrapping the free TV licence for people aged over 75.
This means up to 3.7 million pensioners will have to start paying from June 2020.
The current licence fee costs £154.50 for a colour licence and £52 for a black and white licence. TV licences for over-75s were previously funded by the government.
However, around 1.5 million households that include someone over 75 claiming pension credit could still be eligible for a free licence. The BBC says you will need to provide evidence that you are in receipt of pension credit to claim a free TV licence.
The BBC says this method is “used widely by the public and private sector.”
However many people eligible for pension credits do not claim them but should.
What is pension credit?
Pension credit is an income-related benefit made up of two parts.
The guarantee credit tops up your weekly income to £163 if you are single or £248.80 for couples.
Savings credit is an extra payment for people who saved some money towards their retirement by saving or with a pension other than a state pension.
However, you might not be eligible for this credit if you reach state pension age on or after 6 April 2016.
The additional income provided by savings credit is worth up to £13.40 a week for a single person or £14.99 for couples.
According to the Department of Work and Pensions, up to 1.3 million pensioners are failing to claim pension credits worth £2,500 every year – or £3.5 billion in total.
Even if you can only claim a small amount it is still worth doing as it can enable you to qualify for other benefits.
How to claim pension credit
In order to claim pension credit your weekly income must be less than £167.25 if you’re single, or £255.25 if you are a couple.
To qualify you must also live in England, Scotland or Wales.
You can claim any time after you reach state pension age, but your claim can only be backdated for three months.
When you apply the government will look at all of your income, including your additional state pension, other income from pensions, savings, income from jobs, and investments above £10,000.
The quickest way to apply for pension credit is to call the pension service on 0800 991234. Alternatively you can check your eligibility online on the government website here: https://www.gov.uk/pension-credit
You can use a paper application if you’re unable to make a claim by phone.
When you claim you will need:
- Your National Insurance number
- Information about your income, savings and investments
- Your bank account details
I am in my 90s, and believe it is harsh to start making us pay for tv. I do not receive pension credit, but that does not mean I am well off. What next taking our bus passes away,
The heating allowance we get at the beginning of winter, the list is never ending.