UK households warned free £144 towards broadband bill going unclaimed

£23 billion of support is unclaimed each year by people with broadband and mobile contracts, it has been warned. A report from Policy in Practice warned it represents a 21 per cent year-on-year rise from last year as the Cost of Living crisis continues.

People may be unaware that they need to apply separately for social tariffs and local support such as Council Tax Reduction. Universal Credit brings many nationally administered benefits together, but there is still room to increase public awareness of what benefits are available to them.

The means tested social tariffs offered by utility companies often suffer from the same problem. Policy in Practice has urged customers to "be proactive" and explained: "For benefits such as social tariffs or Free School Meals, unlocking the proactive power of data to consolidate applications can be transformative, easing the burden for applicants whilst streamlining administration."

READ MORE New work from home rules in UK and employers can take staff to tribunal

Deven Ghelani, director and founder of Policy in Practice commented: “This is not just about the money, it’s about the profound impact on people’s lives. Support from the social security system is a right. The failure to deliver support to people who are entitled to it directly affects education, health outcomes and social participation for millions of people. We can’t afford not to close the unclaimed support gap.”

Prices start from £12 a month with Vodafone, EE and SMARTY - but you might also be able to get six months free broadband if you're a jobseeker through TalkTalk. Ofcom claims more than four million people are missing out on savings averaging £144 each year by not taking advantage of a social tariff.

People on Universal Credit can save cash on their mobile phones and broadband thanks to social tariffs which are provided for those on low incomes and can start from £10 a month. Through council tax credit, people can have it reduced or wiped completely.