TV licence concessions
If you're 75 or older and claim Pension Credit, you can get a free TV licence. If you're visually impaired, you may be able to get a discount.
There have been changes to free TV licences
From 1 August 2020 you will no longer receive a free TV licence if you're over 75, unless you receive Pension Credit. However, if you had a free TV licence on 31 July 2020, don't worry. You'll receive a letter about what to do next and until then you don't have to do anything, you're still covered.
Why do I need a TV license and how do I pay for it?
You' need a valid TV licence to watch or record live TV programmes on any channel (including the BBC), or if you download or watch any BBC programmes using BBC iPlayer – whether that's live on iPlayer, or watching downloaded content on a viewing device (such as a TV, computer, tablet or mobile phone).
You can spread the cost by making monthly or quarterly payments. If you were previously getting the free licence for over 75s you will be sent information about different payment options.
Some people will be eligible for a discount or an exemption. There's more informationn about this on this page.
Can I claim a discount on my TV licence?
There are various TV licence discounts.
- If you're at least 75 years old and receive Pension Credit you can claim a free TV licence. The free TV licence will cover you and anyone else you live with, no matter what age they are.
- If you’re blind or have a severe sight-impairment you can claim a 50% discount on your licence. If you live with someone else, the licence will need to be in the name of the person who is blind or sight-impaired to get the discount.
- If you’re living in a care home or sheltered housing, you can get an Accommodation for Residential Care (ARC) licence which costs £7.50. You will only need this if you watch TV in your own separate accommodation, not if you only watch TV in common areas such as a residents lounge.
The rules have changed, what are you entitled to?
On 1 August 2020 the BBC announced TV licences would no longer be free for those over 75. However, if you claim Pension Credit you'll still be entitled to a free TV licence.
How do I claim my TV licence discount?
If you're 75 years old and receive Pension Credit, you need to apply for a free TV licence as it’s not given out automatically.
For an application form you can call TV licensing on 0300 790 6117.
If you’re blind or sight-impaired, contact TV licensing. Once you’re registered, all your TV licence renewals will be at the concessionary rate. You’ll need to provide:
- a photocopy of the certificate from your local authority ophthalmologist confirming that you’re blind or sight-impaired
- your TV licence application form and fee.
If you’re living in a care home or sheltered housing, contact the warden, staff or managing authority where you live who will apply for an ARC licence for you. To qualify you must:
- be retired and aged 60 or over or
What if I've already paid for a full TV licence?
If you have already paid the full fee for a TV licence and you think you might be eligible for one of the discounts listed above, then contact TV licensing who can help you apply for a refund.
If you live in a care home or sheltered housing, ask the warden, staff or managing authority where you live to help you apply for a refund.
Check if you're eligible for Pension Credit
Our benefits calculator can help you find out if you can claim Pension Credit, which would mean you'd be eligible for a free over 75s TV licence if the planned changes go ahead.
What should I do next?
Talk to TV Licensing
Visit the TV Licensing website for more information
Find out more about Pension Credit
Pension Credit is an income-related benefit to give you some extra money in retirement. It can also help you claim other benefits and concessions.
We're here to help
You can order printed copies of any of our guides and factsheets by calling our advice line on 0800 678 1602. Lines are open 8am-7pm, 365 days a year. We also offer support and specialist advice through the advice line and at over 130 local Age UKs.