People on Universal Credit and other benefits could cut monthly broadband bill to £12.50 before summer

Broadband users across the UK are adjusting to higher monthly bills following the annual increase last month when most providers hiked their prices by around 8 per cent. However, many people may be unaware of an easy way to cut their costs, and save some money before summer.

The quickest way to find out if you can change your package to a cheaper deal is to contact your provider directly, and if you’re on benefits such as Universal Credit or Pension Credit, you may be able to switch to a social tariff. A full list of participating providers can be found on the Ofcom website here.

A broadband social tariff can cost as little as £12.50 per month, and while there's usually a lower speed limit attached to that price, over the summer months this small compromise could be n ideal solution to freeing up extra spending money.

Broadband Social Tariffs in a nutshell

A social tariff could bring savings of around £200 each year. The quickest way to find out if you might qualify for a social tariff is to contact your supplier directly and ask - even if you do not qualify, they may be able to offer other ways to reduce your broadband bill.

It can be quite confusing knowing if the benefit you are claiming is eligible for a social tariff so we have compiled a list of all the social tariffs available and the benefits that qualify for them.

A new system put in place in 2022 makes it quicker for broadband providers' to check eligibility by accessing a special Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) IT system - with the claimant's permission.

Benefits the DWP’s system will be able to verify entitlement for are:

  • Universal Credit

  • Pension Credit

  • Income Support

  • Income-Based Jobseeker’s Allowance

  • Income-Related Employment Support Allowance

Benefits and social tariff broadband

The providers listed below are taken from the latest guidance on social tariff broadband packages from Ofcom. You can get direct links to the broadband provider websites here.

The broadband providers listed may not be available in your area, we’ve marked those that cover the entire UK as ‘UK’.

Universal Credit

  • BT - UK

  • EE Basic (Now offered through BT) - UK

  • 4th Utility - UK

  • Hyperoptic - Scotland, England and Wales

  • KCOM

  • NOW Broadband - UK

  • Sky Broadband - UK

  • Virgin Media - UK

  • Vodafone - UK

Pension Credit

  • BT - UK

  • EE Basic (Now offered through BT) - UK

  • 4th Utility - UK

  • Hyperoptic - Scotland, England and Wales

  • KCOM

  • NOW Broadband - UK

  • Sky Broadband - UK

  • Virgin Media - UK

  • Vodafone - UK

Attendance Allowance

  • Hyperoptic - Scotland, England and Wales

  • KCOM

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) / Adult Disability Payment (ADP)

  • Hyperoptic - Scotland, England and Wales

  • KCOM

  • Vodafone - UK

Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

  • Vodafone - UK

Income Support

  • BT - UK

  • EE Basic (Now offered through BT) - UK

  • 4th Utility - UK

  • Hyperoptic - Scotland, England and Wales

  • KCOM

  • NOW Broadband - UK

  • Sky Broadband - UK

  • Virgin Media - UK

  • Vodafone - UK

Jobseeker's allowance

  • BT - UK

  • EE Basic (Now offered through BT) - UK

  • 4th Utility - UK

  • Hyperoptic - Scotland, England and Wales

  • KCOM

  • NOW Broadband - UK

  • Sky Broadband - UK

  • Virgin Media - UK

  • Vodafone - UK

Employment and support allowance

  • BT - UK

  • EE Basic (Now offered through BT) - UK

  • 4th Utility - UK

  • Hyperoptic - Scotland, England and Wales

  • KCOM

  • NOW Broadband - UK

  • Sky Broadband - UK

  • Virgin Media - UK

  • Vodafone - UK

Care Leaver's Support

  • Hyperoptic - Scotland, England and Wales

  • KCOM

  • Housing Benefit

  • Hyperoptic - Scotland, England and Wales

Reduced Earnings Allowance

  • Vodafone - UK

10 social broadband tariff deals

Here are 11 to give you an idea of monthly costs, speeds available and eligibility.

BT Home Essentials (No Income)

  • Monthly cost: £15

  • Average broadband speed: around 36mbps

  • Eligibility: various benefits, see above list

BT Home Essentials (Unlimited 36Mbps)

  • Monthly cost: £20

  • Average broadband speed: around 36Mbps

  • Eligibility: various benefits, see above list

BT Home Essentials (Unlimited 67mbps)

  • Monthly cost: £23

  • Average broadband speed: around 67Mbps

  • Eligibility: various benefits, see above list

EE Basic (Now BT Home Essentials)

Monthly cost:from £12 - see BT social tariffs Average broadband speed: around 36mbps Eligibility: various benefits, see above list

Lothian Broadband Social Tariff

  • Monthly cost: £19.99

  • Average broadband speed: 100 Mbps

  • Eligibility: open to all

Sky Broadband Basics

  • Monthly cost: £20

  • Average broadband speed: 36Mbps

  • Eligibility: various benefits, see above list

NOW Broadband Basics

  • Monthly cost: £20

  • Average broadband speed: 36Mbps

  • Eligibility: various benefits, see above list

Virgin Media Essential Broadband

  • Monthly cost: £12.50

  • Average broadband speed: 15Mbps

  • Eligibility: various benefits, see above list

Virgin Media Essential Broadband Plus

  • Monthly cost: £20

  • Average broadband speed: 54Mbps

  • Eligibility: various benefits, see above lis

Vodafone Fibre 2 Essentials

  • Monthly cost: £20

  • Average broadband speed: 73Mbps

  • Eligibility: various benefits, see above list

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