TV licence ‘transition period’ to end on Saturday – check if you could still be entitled

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BBC TV licence: Brits react to free licence being axed

The automatic right to a TV licence for over-75s ended last August.

The changes made then mean that only over-75s in receipt of a Pension Credit will be entitled to a free licence. This change proved particularly controversial.

In February, the BBC announced a transition period lasting until July 31, this coming Saturday, due to the pandemic.

As of last month, of the 3.9million people needing to make new arrangements for their TV licence, 3.6million had done so.

That leaves about 260,000 pensioners yet to make new arrangements.

But claimants of Pension Credit are still entitled to the free TV licence, provided they are over-75 and can provide evidence they are in receipt of it.

The Pension Credit is a benefit for retirees living on a low-income and tops up their weekly income to a minimum level.

The minimum level is currently £173.75 for individuals and £265.20 for couples per week.

Before 15 May, 2019, Pension Credit could be paid if someone had reached their retirement age but their partner had not.

Such couples who made a claim before this point can continue to do so.

However, if a mixed age couple did not make such a claim for Pension Credit before 15 May, 2019 they will instead have to be assessed for Universal Credit to access extra income.

A TV licence fee must be paid by anyone wanting to watch live TV at home, even if not the BBC.

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The current fee for a standard licence sits at £159 a year.

The cost of the fee can be spread by making quarterly or monthly payments and it can be paid in a number of ways including direct debit.

There are also other ways you may be entitled to discounts on the licence fee.

For one, people who are blind or suffer from severe sight-impairment can claim a 50 percent discount on the licence.

People in a care home or sheltered housing, additionally, may be able to claim an Accommodation for Residential Care (ARC) licence which costs £7.50.

Individuals will only need this if they watch TV in their own accommodation, rather than if they are watching in communal areas.

Many people are eligible for the Pension Credit but do not currently claim it.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) estimates that there are around 1.3million people for whom this is the case.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) estimates that there are around 1.3million people for whom this is the case.

This means that two in five of those eligible for the Pension Credit do not receive it.

If someone has paid the licence fee but thinks they may be entitled to a free licence or a discount, they can contact TV licencing who can help applications for refunds.

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