Recent research by OFCOM has revealed that only 5.1% of people who are eligible are on social tariffs for either broadband or mobile phones. Social tariffs are cheaper broadband and phone packages that are designed to be affordable, supporting specific groups on low incomes.
Social tariffs are available for people claiming Universal Credit, Income Support, Jobseeker’s Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, Personal Independence Payment and Pension Credit. However, it is important you check the details with each supplier, not all benefits will be covered with every supplier. On average someone switching to a social tariff could save around £200 per year.
Natalie Don, SNP MSP for Renfrewshire North & West, said: ““If you are on benefits, it’s worth checking out if you can qualify for a social tariff for either your broadband, mobile phone or both.
“Although most suppliers of broadband and some mobile phone companies provide a social tariff, they don’t publicise it much. Recent figures from OFCOM estimates that almost 95% of those eligible for such tariffs are missing out on them.
“With the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, it’s important to be aware of any deals which could help those struggling to get by. Moving to a social tariff still means you can get a decent broadband connection and, in most cases, switching to such a tariff is free, with no set up fee.
“Social Tariffs put money back into people’s pockets and could potentially save up to £200 per year. This is support that goes unclaimed simply because not enough people know about them.
“Check with your broadband and mobile phone supplier to see if you qualify for a social tariff – and if not, check other suppliers. With only around 5% of eligible people claiming a social tariff it’s important to get the message out that this tariff is available for people on a wide range of benefits.”
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