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News Every Day |

Little-known way to get your TV licence for FREE as major bill rises today

THE TV licence fee is rising for millions of households today, but there’s one way you can get the bill reduced to zero.

The fee has risen to £169.50 a year up from £159 after ministers agreed for it to increase in line with September’s inflation rate – 6.7%.

PA
There’s one scenario where you can get your TV licence for free[/caption]

It comes as millions of households also see their council tax, broadband and mobile phone bills spike from today.

But there is one method of getting your TV licence fee reduced to nothing – if you’re on Pension Credit and over a certain age.

The Government benefit is available to pensioners and tops up your income to a minimum level.

But hundreds of thousands aren’t claiming it when they could be, meaning they’re missing out on an average £3,500 extra a year.

Not only does the benefit top up your income, it comes with a host of added perks too, including a free TV licence for those aged over 75.

Anyone claiming the benefit can apply for the TV licence discount via the TV licencing website or by calling 0300 790 6117.

Who is eligible for Pension Credit?

Pension Credit is available to people over the State Pension age, currently 66, who live in EnglandScotland or Wales.

To qualify, you need to have a weekly income of less than £201.05 if you are single and £306.85 if you are in a couple.

Your income is worked out taking into account various elements including:

  • Your State Pension
  • Any other pensions you have saved, for instance, workplace or private pension savings
  • Most social security benefits, for example, carer’s allowance
  • Any savings or investments worth over £10,000
  • Earnings from a job

It’s worth noting that the calculation does not include:

  • Attendance allowance
  • Christmas bonus
  • Disability living allowance
  • Personal independence payment
  • Housing benefit
  • Council tax reduction

How much can you get?

There are two parts to the benefit and pensioners can be eligible for one or both parts – here are the current rates for the tax year:

  • Guarantee credit – tops up your weekly income to a guaranteed minimum level. This is £201.05 a week if you’re single and £306.85 a week for married couples.
  • Savings credit – provides extra money if you’ve saved money towards retirement. You can get an extra £15.94 a week for a single person or £17.84 a week for a married couple.

You can also get additional Pension Credit if you have a disability, caring responsibilities or have to pay certain housing costs such as mortgage interest payments.

As an example, you can get either £61.88 a week or £72.31 a week for each child you’re responsible for.

How do I apply and how will I be paid?

You can start your application up to four months before you reach State Pension age.

You can make an application on the Government website or by ringing the Pension Credit claim line on 0800 99 1234.

Are you missing out on benefits?

YOU can use a benefits calculator to help check that you are not missing out on money you are entitled to

Charity Turn2Us’ benefits calculator works out what you could get.

Entitledto’s free calculator determines whether you qualify for various benefits, tax credit and Universal Credit.

MoneySavingExpert.com and charity StepChange both have benefits tools powered by Entitledto’s data.

You can use Policy in Practice’s calculator to determine which benefits you could receive and how much cash you’ll have left over each month after paying for housing costs.

Your exact entitlement will only be clear when you make a claim, but calculators can indicate what you might be eligible for.

You can get a friend or family member to ring for you, but you’ll need to be with them when they do.

You’ll need the following information about you and your partner if you have one:

  • National Insurance number
  • Information about any income, savings and investments you have
  • Information about your income, savings and investments on the date you want to backdate your application to (usually 3 months ago or the date you reached State Pension age)

You can also get help with the application process through charities and non-profit organisations such as Independent Age and Age UK.

Do you have a money problem that needs sorting? Get in touch by emailing squeezeteam@thesun.co.uk.

Plus, you can join our Sun Money Chats and Tips Facebook group to share your tips and stories.

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