When do the TV license rules change for over 75s and who is exempt from paying?

9 July 2020, 13:02

TV licenses will now be paid by over 75s
TV licenses will now be paid by over 75s. Picture: PA Images/Getty Images
Naomi Bartram

By Naomi Bartram

Do UK residents over the age of 75 now have to pay TV licenses? And who can still get a free TV license? Find out everything...

The BBC announced on Thursday that it would be ending free TV licences for most over-75s.

The controversial decision was put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic, with BBC Chairman Sir David Clementi saying the decision had 'not been easy', but the broadcaster is under 'under severe financial pressure'.

But when do the changes come into place? And who is exempt? Here's what we know...

Read More: Free TV licenses will officially be scrapped for over 75s from August

When do the TV license rules change for over 75s?

Three million households will be asked to start paying the £157.50 fee from 1 August.

The change was originally due to be made on 1 June, but the coronavirus pandemic put this on hold.

The BBC said this delay has cost them £35m a month.

TV licensing rules have changed for over 75s
TV licensing rules have changed for over 75s. Picture: PA Images

How do I pay my TV license?

For those who will now have to pay for their TV license, the BBC has said there will be a ‘Covid-safe’ payment system.

This means people can apply online, while there will also be a dedicated phone line to support those affected.

A statement from a spokesperson states that TV Licensing will write to all licence holders aged over 75 with clear guidance about how to pay it and what to do next.

It reads: "No-one needs to take any immediate action, or leave their home, to claim for a free TV licence or pay for one.”

Read More: Which Boots stores and opticians are closing across the UK?

Who will be exempt from the changes?

Households where someone receives the Pension Credit benefit will still be eligible for a free licence.

Almost 1.6 million people claim Pension Credit in the UK, with 450,000 of those reportedly having already applied for a free licence.

This comes after the broadcaster announced last year that it would end the scheme of free licenses which has been provided by the government since 2000.

The responsibility for the provision was passed to the BBC as part of its last licence fee settlement.

Age UK set up a petition calling on the prime minister to take action against this, which more than 630,000 people signed.