“I was paying £45 a month and now I pay £20, it’s saved me £300 a year.”

Phil Kelly, Aspire's Money Matters Specialist writes:

Social tariffs are cheaper broadband and phone packages for people claiming certain benefits. If you claim Universal Credit you should be able to switch to any of the tariffs available.

Is anyone else eligible for social tariffs?

In addition to Universal Credit, some providers also include people on other benefits such as Pension Credit, Employment and Support Allowance, Jobseeker’s Allowance, and Income Support. The person receiving the benefit will need to be the main person on the contract.

Social Tariffs are sometimes known as “essential” or “basic” broadband.

What are the benefits of a social tariff?

The biggest plus point to the social tariff is its reduced cost compared to regular tariffs, with current prices ranging from £10 to £20 a month.

If your current provider offers a social tariff and you are eligible you can switch to it anytime free of charge.

If your current provider does not offer a social tariff then they may let you switch to one that does without the need to pay a penalty charge.

If you are switching to a new provider any set up costs should be small and the provider should tell you before you sign up and the price you pay should stay the same throughout the contract.

What quality of broadband do social tariffs offer?

The majority now offer fast, unlimited broadband at speeds over 30 Mbits. This meets most everyday user needs such as searching the web, online shopping, banking, streaming films and keeping in touch with family and friends.

Will providers ask for proof of what benefits I receive?

Yes, all providers will need proof that applicants are in receipt of qualifying benefits and their processes vary at this time. Ofcom (the UK communications regulator) is encouraging all providers to sign up to the Social Tariff Scheme which is a government initiative to allow providers check directly on your behalf.

How do I apply?

The first thing is to contact your existing provider, explain your circumstances and ask if they offer social tariffs and, if so, you would you be eligible.

If the package on offer meets your needs then your provider should help you make the switch to the new tariff (they may lose you as a customer if they don’t!)

If your provider doesn’t offer a social tariff, you can switch to one that does and the Ofcom link below contains a full list of providers, eligibility and an indication of current costs.


What should I do next?

It doesn’t cost anything to see if you can  save money on your broadband so check out your providers website or pick up the phone and give them a ring.

“It Could Save You Money“

If you need any further help or just want to talk things through Aspire's Money Matters offers free impartial guidance to people affected by Spinal Cord Injury about effective budgeting, keeping control of finances and, where needed, help to become debt free.

For free and impartial guidance call our Money Matters Specialist on 020 8420 8960.

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