TV licence: Pensioners in these parts of UK are missing out on free scheme – are you?

TV licence: Pensioners in these parts of UK are missing out on free scheme – are you?

Following a delay due to the coronavirus crisis, the BBC pressed ahead with its decision to scrap the universal free TV licence for over 75s this month. Since August 1, people over the age of 75 have had to pay for a TV licence – unless they were eligible for one particular means-tested benefit.

Those who receive Pension Credit, and who are aged 75 or older, are able to get the free TV licence.

Otherwise, they will need to pay for it themselves – with this currently costing £157.50 for the year.

However, new warnings regarding the take-up of Pension Credit have been issued.

Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) figures estimate 1.2 million people entitled to Pension Credit do not currently claim it.

READ MORE: Next week marks significant date in state pension age changes

According to these figures, it is estimated only 61 percent of people actually claim their entitlement to the benefit.

Among them are hundreds of thousands of over 75s, according to a recent analysis.

As such, these pensioners will lose their free TV licence, national poverty charity Turn2us has warned.

Data analysed by Turn2us has found more than 589,000 pensioners may be missing out on the free scheme.

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The charity has also shared a regional breakdown of unclaimed Pension Credit among over 75s.

In the North West, for instance, the minimum number of those missing out is 75,354.

Meanwhile in Wales, at least 35,712 are missing out, while this figure is 70,965 in London.

Anna Stevenson, Welfare Benefit Expert, at Turn2us said: “Pension Credit is a lifeline for older people stuck on low incomes in retirement, and now it is the only route to getting a free TV licence.

“So it is more important, now than ever, to claim it.

“The extra income, and so called ‘passport-benefits’ that Pension Credit unlocks, can go a long way to helping many older people keep their head above water and avoid being pulled into poverty.

“We urge everyone of pension age to use the Turn2us Benefits Calculator and find out if you are entitled to Pension Credit then make that claim.”

Minister for Pensions and Financial Inclusion, Guy Opperman said: “Currently, 1.5 million older people across Great Britain receive extra financial help through Pension Credit.

“But there are still a significant number of older people who might be missing out.

“We’re keen to get the message out there that everyone should claim the benefits they’re entitled to and I would encourage anyone who thinks they might be eligible for Pension Credit to check.

“It only takes a few minutes for people to check that they are getting all they’re entitled to.

“Visit gov.uk/pension-credit or call 0800 99 1234.”

Published at Thu, 27 Aug 2020 13:11:11 +0000