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Mayor advises over 75s to check Pension Credit eligibility ahead of end to free TV Licences

27 July 2020
Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Brian Tierney, has advised people over 75 to investigate their pension credit options ahead of the end of free TV licenses for that age group at the end of this month.
 
Complimentary TV Licenses for the over 75s, previously funded by the government, are coming to an end on July 31st 2020.  T

The change will mean all households will be asked to start paying the £157.50 fee from 1st August, with only those who receive the pension credit benefit exempt.  
 
If Pension Credit is not received – either in the licence holder's name or their partner's name, the TV Licence will need to be paid for.  
 
You can also get TV licence concessions if you're registered blind or (under certain conditions) if you live in nursing or residential care or in sheltered accommodation.
 
Mayor Tierney explained: "Many older citizens in our area tell us that they rely heavily on their TV for company and information, particularly those who are housebound, lonely, chronically sick or disabled.
 
"This year in particular, many over 75s have spent months at home with their TV providing an invaluable source of company during the pandemic and an important window to the world. 
 
"Many older people may now have to start rationing on their heating or food to pay for a TV licence.
 
"Given these changes I urge anyone over the age of 75 years, their family, friends or carers should ensure that they seek advice to determine if they are eligible for Pension Credit.  
 
"Locally there are a number of advice services available within the Council area, as well as the government's Make the Call service by telephoning the Freephone service on 0800 232 1271 which can help people to check if they are receiving all the benefits they are entitled to, including Pension Credit". 
 
You need to be covered by a TV Licence to watch or record live TV programmes on any channel, or to download or watch any BBC programmes on iPlayer – live, catch up or on demand. #
 
This applies to any device and provider you use.
 
Locally, Derry City and Strabane District Council are helping lead the way in creating age friendly environments that support healthy and active ageing and a good quality of life for older people.  
 
Through support from the Public Health Agency, and based on the World Health Organisations framework, Derry City and Strabane District Council are involved with the NI Age Friendly Network and work closely with all eleven councils to create age friendly environments and work towards a longer term goal of making this region an Age Friendly region.