Free TV licence eligibility as £249m worth of benefit left unclaimed per year | Personal Finance | Finance

Britons are being urged to check if they can apply for a free TV licence as millions of pounds worth of support go unclaimed per year.

A report by Policy in Practice estimates thousands of households are missing out, with the total figure of unclaimed free TV licences amounting to a startling £249million.

The TV licence, now priced at £169.50 a year following an increase in April, must be purchased by any household in the UK that watches live TV and for many, renewing it is commonplace.

However, some people are entitled to 50 percent, or even 100 percent discounts, which could be a huge help for households while living costs remain high.

The amount of discount a person receives depends on which group the person falls into, and here are the criteria for each.

Who is eligible for a free TV licence?

People aged 75 years or older who receive the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Pension Credit benefit could be entitled to a full discount on their TV licence.

Licence holders can also claim the discount if their partner living at the same address receives Pension Credit.

Those aged 75 or over who live in a residential care home may be covered by an ARC (Accommodation for Residential Care) TV licence and may be entitled for a free licence even if they don’t receive Pension Credit.

TV Licencing suggests people speak to their care home administrator to find out if they qualify.

Who is eligible for a half-price TV licence?

People who are blind (severely sight impaired), or live with someone who is blind, could be entitled to a blind concession TV licence.

This would reduce the annual fee from £169.50 to £84.75 for a colour TV licence and £28.50 for a black and white TV licence.

To apply for a blind concession licence, TV Licensing said people must provide at least one of the following documents to confirm they are certified as blind:

  • A CVI (Certificate of Visual Impairment)
  • A BD8 Certificate
  • A certificate or document issued by a Local Authority
  • A copy of a certificate from an Ophthalmologist (eye surgeon)
  • Tax coding notice from HMRC showing you receive a Blind person’s allowance
  • A copy of your National Registration Card signed by an Ophthalmologist stating that you are blind (severely sight impaired)
  • For Isle of Man residents, a DHSS documentation or certificate stating that you are blind (severely sight impaired)
  • For Northern Ireland residents, a Health and Social Services documentation or letter from Optometrist for residents of Northern Ireland only.

It must be noted that those who are partially sight impaired will not qualify for the 50 percent blind concession licence.

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