TV Licence 'transition period' ends today – pensioners to face higher costs from tomorrow


    TV licence fees must be paid by anyone who wishes to watch live television at home. This concerns all programming and not just BBC viewers.

    Currently, a standard TV Licence costs £159 and this cost can be covered through a number of methods such as direct debits.

    Under previous rules, TV Licences were free to all over 75s, however, in August 2020 changes were made and the free entitlement was removed.

    As it stands, the only over 75s eligible for free licences are those in receipt of Pension Credit.

    In an effort to assist the elderly through the pandemic, Pension Credit claimants in this group were given a grace period where payments were TV Licence payments were not required.

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    “As we have now reached a situation where over-75s households are in line with the general population, the extended transition period we put in place due to COVID-19 will end on July 31, 2021.

    “And in line with general policy, anyone who watches or records live TV programmes on any channel, or downloads or watches BBC programmes on BBC iPlayer, must be covered by a valid TV licence.”

    Pension Credit itself is a state benefit which provides extra money to help with living costs where claimants are over state pension age and on a low income.

    It can also help with housing costs such as ground rent or service charges.

    To be eligible for Pension Credit, a claimant must be living in England, Scotland or Wales and have reached state pension age.

    Claimants must also include their partners on their applications if they have one.

    When a person applies for Pension Credit, their income will be calculated to determine eligibility.

    So long as a claimant is eligible, Pension Credit will top up:

    • Their weekly income to £177.10 if they’re single
    • Their joint weekly income to £270.30 if they have a partner

    Claims for Pension Credit can be started up to four months ahead of reaching state pension age.

    Applications can be made at any time after one reaches state pension age but payments can only be backdated by up to three months.

    Claims for Pension Credit can be made online, over the phone or through the post and the following information will be needed to make a claim:

    • National Insurance numbers
    • Information about any income, savings and investments held
    • Information about income, savings and investments on the date the claimant wants to backdate your application to

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