Therese Coffey outlines the benefits of Pension Credit scheme
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Households which include a person who is over the age of 75 years old and receives pension credit will be able to claim the “freebie” benefit. Pension credit is an additional benefit payment which assists people on the state pension who are on low income. Unlike other discounts or reductions to the television licence fee, the free TV licence for pension credit claimants is not factored in automatically.
On the TV licensing website, guidelines have been published to explain to people how they can apply for their own TV licence.
A TV licence is needed in the UK to watch or record any programmes as they are being broadcasted live on television.
It is also required to watch or stream live programming on an online TV service, such as BBC iPlayer or Sky Go.
As the country’s public broadcaster, the BBC is responsible for dealing with the administration of collecting TV licence fees.
Currently, if an individual were to pay the full price for the licence fee it would cost £159 for a colour licence and £53.50 for a black and white licence.
Anyone who is over the age of 74 and claims pension credit, or if their partner receives the benefit, are encouraged to apply for a free licence as soon as possible.
Claimants who think they may be eligible but do not currently own a TV licence can call 0300 790 6117 to begin the application process.
When calling this number, those who receive pension credit will be able to speak to an adviser who will be able to provide an application form.
This specific helpline is open for anyone in need of help between 8.30am and 6.30pm, from Monday to Friday.
After an application for a television licence has been received by the BBC, it usually takes a couple of weeks to fully process.
If any issue arises during the application process, applicants may receive a phone call or letter informing them of changes to circumstances.
Different arrangements for television licenses are in place for people who live in the Isle of Man, the Bailiwick of Jersey and the Bailiwick of Guernsey and are over 75.
People who believe they may qualify for pension credit are able to apply through the Government’s website.
The benefit is an income-related benefit made up of two separate components: Guarantee Credit and Savings Credit.
Guarantee Credit is a top-up of someone’s weekly income if it’s below a certain level. People may still be eligible even if they have savings, a pension or their own property.
Savings Credit is an extra benefit payment for claimants who saved some money towards their retirement, such as through a pension scheme.
Other discounts for TV licenses are available to Britons, such as the 50 percent reduction in the fee for people who are registered as legally blind.
All pension credit claimants over the age of 75 should contact the Government regarding any other “freebie” benefits they may be entitled to.
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