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A TV licence now costs £159.00 a year per household, or £13.25 a month. The good news is that if you’re 75 or over and receive Pension Credit, you’ll be eligible for a free TV licence. Discounts are also available to people who live in a care home or sheltered accommodation, or are registered blind.
Here, we’ve covered whether you’re eligible for a free TV licence over 75, other discounts, how to apply and how to claim a refund.
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You can get a free TV licence over 75 if you receive Pension Credit, or live at the same address as somebody else who receives it. Pension Credit is a means-tested benefit for people who have reached the State Pension age and are on a low income. This free licence will cover everyone living in your household.
If you’re 74 or over and are already receiving Pension Credit, you can apply for a free TV licence. You’ll only pay until the end of the month before your 75th birthday. At this point, you’ll be covered by the free TV licence.
If you or someone else in your household is eligible for Pension Credit but doesn’t currently receive it, you’ll need to apply for it first.
If you’re above the State Pension age and aren’t currently claiming Pension Credit, you should check your eligibility. Independent Age estimate that around 30% of the 2.3 million people who qualify for this means-tested benefit are missing out on payments they’re entitled to. Similarly, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) say that around a third of people with an entitlement don’t receive it.
If you live in a care home, supported living or sheltered accommodation, you could be eligible for an Accommodation for Residential Care (ARC) licence. This special TV licence costs just £7.50 per room, flat or bungalow. It’s only needed when watching TV within your own accommodation, rather than in a communal space such as a residents’ lounge.
To be eligible, you also need to be either:
Speak to the care home manager or housing warden to find out if your care home or sheltered accommodation qualifies.
For more information, we also have a guide explaining how TV licences work in care homes.
You’re eligible for a 50% discount on your TV licence if you’re registered blind or have a severe sight impairment. You’ll also be eligible if you live with someone else who is blind or has a severe sight impairment, but the TV licence needs to be in this person’s name.
You won’t be eligible if you or somebody else in your household is sight impaired (partially sighted).
If the licence isn’t in the blind person’s name, you can make a new application and transfer it to their name.
When it’s time to renew your TV licence, TV Licensing will get in touch and explain your options.
How you organise this free or discounted TV licence depends on your household’s circumstances. Here are the different ways of applying for a free TV licence or discount.
Free TV licences aren’t automatically given out, so you’ll need to apply.
To apply for your free TV licence, visit the TV Licensing website. You’ll need to provide:
You can also apply over the phone by calling 0300 791 6071.
If eligible, this free TV licence will cover all members of your household.
An application could take a few weeks to process. TV Licensing will be in touch if there are any problems with the application.
To apply for an Accommodation for Residential Care (ARC) licence, you should speak to your care home manager or housing warden. They’ll know whether your accommodation qualifies for this concessionary TV licence.
If eligible, they’ll also arrange this licence for you!
You can also contact TV Licensing on 0330 790 6117. If you require information in Braille or an audio format, they’ll be able to help with this.
When applying, you’ll need to provide one or more of the following:
If you think you’re eligible for a free TV licence but you’re unable to apply online, you should instead call 0300 790 6117 and request an application form from one of the TV Licensing advisors.
You can call TV Licensing Monday to Friday between 8.30 am and 6.30 pm.
They’ll then send you an application form to fill in. This form could take a few weeks to process once you’ve sent it back to them.
TV Licensing can help you apply for a refund if you've already paid for a full TV licence but you think you could be eligible for an exemption or discount.
This refund will be processed as part of your application for a free over 75 TV licence.
Once you turn 75, your licence won’t automatically change to a free TV licence, which is why many people have to apply for refunds.
Care home or sheltered housing residents can speak to a relevant member of staff for help with applying for a refund, such as the warden or a manager.
If you aren’t eligible for a free TV licence, you’ll need to pay the full price. This is currently £159 per household per year (or £13.25 a month).
You’ll need a valid TV licence if you do any of the following:
You don’t need a TV licence to use paid subscription services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime or Disney+.
We’re on a mission to support individuals and their loved ones throughout each stage of their later living journey. For more information, check out everything Lottie has to offer.
You don’t need a TV licence to watch movies or TV programmes through streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime or Apple TV. However, if you were to watch BBC programmes through BBC iPlayer then you would need a TV licence.
People aged 75 or over who receive Pension Credit are entitled to a free TV licence. Once you’ve reached 75, this eligibility for a free TV licence won’t change.
If you’re registered blind or live with someone else who is, your household will be eligible to apply for a 50% discount on your TV licence. The licence must be in the blind person’s name and you’ll need to provide necessary proof when applying.