TV Licence: Britons missing out on free licence and £3,000 each year – act now | Personal Finance | Finance

TV licence payments were traditionally eradicated for older people, an entitlement many openly accepted and indeed relished. However, with a rule change in August 2020, many over-75s are now required to pay for their TV Licence, in a move that was particularly controversial. The TV Licence currently costs £157.50 and is set to increase again next year, and Britons can pay in one go, or spread the cost with Direct Debit payments.

The sum is commonly viewed as a ‘gateway benefit’ as it can enable people who receive it to gain numerous other entitlements, including a free TV licence.

However, there is a problem frequently raised when it comes to looking at Pension Credit.

This is because each year, it is thought approximately one million people who are eligible fail to claim the sum.

Pension Credit is not received automatically, and therefore Britons will need to be proactive in receiving it.

The poor take-up of Pension Credit is attributed to this action, as well as a lack of knowledge surrounding the payment.

In addition, some people are hesitant to receive Pension Credit as they consider it to be a benefit, and thus may attach stigma to the payment.

But due to the financial support Pension Credit can provide, as well as the free TV Licence, Britons are being encouraged to check if they are eligible. 

To be eligible for Pension Credit, people must be resident in England, Scotland or Wales.

In addition, they must have reached state pension age in order to qualify.

Those in a couple can start getting Pension Credit if they and their partner have both reach state pension age, or if one person is receiving Housing Benefit for people over state pension age.

People will be able to claim Pension Credit online, by phone or by post, but phone claims are taking longer due to COVID-19.

Britons can start their Pension Credit application up to four months before they reach state pension age.

Individuals can claim at any time after they hit this age, but a claim will only be able to be backdated for a maximum of three months. 

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