Millions on Universal Credit and benefits could save £234 a year on broadband – we explain how

MILLIONS of Brits on Universal Credit and other benefits are missing out on cheap broadband deals that could save them hundreds of pounds a year.

Special tariffs for low income households could make bills more affordable – but many don't know about them.

Around 10million people are missing out on savings of up to £234 a year, USwitch research reveals.

Just one in six households eligible for these cheaper tariffs are applying for them.

It comes as millions of Brits face soaring prices as the cost of living is increasing and bills are on the up.

Energy bills could hit £2,000 a year while some on Universal Credit are living non £20-a-week less after a temporary uplift through Covid ended last month.

Cheaper broadband deals are offered by several companies and are designed to help those claiming a range of benefits, including Universal Credit.

The average bill for low income families who are eligible for a social tariff but are not getting one, is £34.50 a month.

But the cheapest deal would see their bill come in at £10 a month – nearly £20 cheaper.

Ernest Doku, broadband expert at Uswitch, said: “At a time when the cost of living is soaring for many households, more need to be aware of the deals that might be available to those customers who struggle the most.

“With almost three quarters of people having never heard of social tariffs, it’s not surprising that take-up isn’t as high as it could be.

“Social tariffs are an important way for financially vulnerable households to get a decent service at a lower cost, and providers like BT, Virgin Media, Community Fibre, Hyperoptic and others are doing their bit to help out.

What social tariffs are available?

Currently there are eight social tariffs available from major providers and smaller companies.

Eligibility can vary between them, as can speed, so it's worth checking before hand.

The cheapest deal out there is from Community Fibre and costs £10 a month for 10mbps, but it's only available in London.

You can get it if you are claiming any of the following benefits and find more information here:

  • Universal Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Care Leavers support
  • Personal Independence Payment

BT, Hyperoptic and Virgin Media offer the next best prices at £15.

Virgin Media's deal is for 15mbps and is just for those on Universal Credit – you can find out more here.

Hyperoptic's Fair Fibre 50 is 50mbps and is available in 57 locations across the country – you can find out where here.

It also offers speeds of 150mbps (Fair Fibre 150) for £25 a month, and both tariffs are available if you're on:

  • Income Support
  • Pension Credit
  • Income-related Job Seekers Allowance (JSA)
  • Housing Benefit
  • Personal Independence Payment
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Universal Credit
  • Care Leavers support
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

BT's Home Essentials £15 tariff offers 36mbps, or you can pay £20 for Home Essentials 2 with 67mbps.

These are both for those on:

  • Universal Credit (all claimants)
  • Pension Credit (Guarantee Credit)
  • Employment and Support Allowance (Eligibility rules apply)
  • Jobseeker’s Allowance (Eligibility rules apply)
  • Income Support

For £19.99 a month you can get KCOM Full Fibre Flex with 30mbps if you're on:

  • Income Support
  • Pension Credit
  • Job Seekers Allowance
  • Housing Benefit
  • Personal Independence Payment,
  • Attendance Allowance,
  • Universal Credit (with zero earnings)
  • Care Home residents and Lifeline customers who are referred via Social Services
  • Care Leavers
  • Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) (Income related)
  • Individuals on the Government’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Shielded Patients List

TalkTalk offers free broadband to job seekers of up to 40mbps.

This scheme is with the Department for Work and Pensions, and the jobcentre can hand out a referral code to get the deal in England, Scotland and Wales.

 

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