One man is sharing how he significantly reduced his annual household outgoings by hundreds of pounds thanks to social tariffs. These are deals offered by broadband providers to those on benefits, including Universal Credit. Waleed, 61, is retired and claims Universal Credit, while living with his partner and one of his children in London.
Anyone who has a contract with their broadband provider can reach out directly to them to inquire if they are eligible for a reduction on their broadband bill. Households can move to a different provider which does provide social tariffs, if their current one does not.
To help with his financial situation, Waleed was put in touch with Clean Slate, which is a community interest company offering people guidance around money issues, online skills and employment.
Becci, his support worker, conducted a Money Health Check with him, to get an idea of his income and expenditure and to help look for financial opportunities to make savings or access extra support.
Due to being a claimant of Universal Credit and DWP assistance, Waleed was able to save hundreds of pounds on his annual bill by accessing a social tariff offered through his broadband provider.
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Discussing how his bills have been reduced, he said: “I’ve gone from paying £42 a month for my broadband to £15. I had no idea about social tariffs. I’ve gone from paying £504 a year to £180.
“I’ve already informed most of my friends about it, so hopefully some of them can get a better deal, too. The speed is just the same, it’s really fast and I found it really easy to sign up once Becci pointed me in the right direction.”
In the last year, the UK’s media regulator Ofcom has made a conscious effort to promote social tariffs to those on low incomes and has encouraged broadband providers to offer such deals.
Lindsey Fussell, Ofcom’s Network and Communications Group Director, discussed why such deals are important for households reliant on benefit payments, such as Universal Credit or Pension Credit.
Ms Fussell explained: “People rely on their broadband for staying in touch, working and learning from home. But for those who are really struggling with rising bills, every penny counts.
“Special discounts can make all the difference, and too many broadband firms are failing either to promote their social tariff or to offer one at all.
“We expect companies to step up support for those on low incomes, and we’ll be watching their response.”
Anyone who has also saved a significant amount of money on their broadband bill is encouraged to contact Ofcom to share their story. This can be done via the regulator’s website.
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How to apply for a social tariff
Anyone who has a contract with their broadband provider can reach out directly to them to inquire if they are eligible for reduction on their broadband bill. Households can move to a different provider which does provide social tariffs, if their current one does not.
Some broadband providers may let households leave their current contract without paying a penalty fee, however, there is a possibility that a charge could be levied for those who leave early.
Outside of Universal Credit, there are other DWP benefit payments which qualify someone for this broadband support. This includes Pension Credit, Employment and Support Allowance, Jobseeker’s Allowance, and Income Support.
It should be noted that successfully applying for a social tariff on your broadband deal does mean you will get a worse-off service compared to the normally priced product. The majority of deals still provide fast broadband.