Pensioner says she'll 'go to jail' over BBC TV licence fee
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People who are aged 75 or older who are claimants of Pension Credit will be able to get a free television licence from the public broadcaster. Under law, TV licenses are needed to watch or record live television programmes on any of your devices. Furthermore, it is needed to download or stream any BBC programmes from iPlayer, whether they be live, on demand or via catch up.
Currently, a television licence costs £159 (£53.50 for black and white TV sets) for both homes and businesses.
A TV licence for one property covers all devices, including televisions sets, computers, laptops, smartphones and tablets.
Television licenses are not needed to watch non-BBC programmes on catch up services or to stream non-live content from certain streaming services, such as Netflix.
As of today, free TV licenses are only available to those aged 75 or older if they claim Pension Credit. If one claimant of Pension Credit lives in a household, the whole household is eligible for the “freebie” benefit.
According to the TV Licensing website, anyone who believes they are eligible to receive a free television licence should call 0300 790 6117 if they do not have one.
Calling this number will allow applicants to speak with one of TV Licensing’s advisors who can put through a request an application form.
Once an application form is completed, the process to finally get a free licence may take a few weeks.
All potential applicants need to already be recipients of Pension Credit for their application to be successful, or have a partner who is.
On its website, TV Licensing states: “If you or your partner don’t receive Pension Credit you’ll need to continue to pay for your licence.
“If you live in the Channel Islands or Isle of Man, different conditions may apply.
“We recommend you apply for a free over 75 TV Licence when you’re 74. It makes things simpler when you turn 75.
“If your application is accepted, you’ll still need to pay for your TV Licence until your 75th birthday. So, please don’t change or cancel your current payment method.”
Last year, Age UK was one of the many organisations who consulted with the BBC about maintaining free TV licences for those aged over 75 years old.
Following their meeting, a BBC spokesperson said: “We were pleased to meet with Age UK to share feedback and concerns raised by older people.
“We recognise this is a tough time and want to do all we can to make the scheme easy to use and safe.
“No one needs to leave home to apply for a free or paid TV licence. You can verify your pension credit status with us over the phone or online.
“And you can pay in weekly, fortnightly, monthly or annual instalments in the same way.
“Thank you to those who have paid so far – 1.6 million households – and to around 700,000 households who have claimed a free TV licence.
“We want to keep listening and responding to feedback from Age UK, and others too.”
Anyone aged 74 or older, who is currently receiving Pension Credit is encouraged to begin their application to receive a free TV licence from the BBC.
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