The BBC has reported that only one in twenty claimants who are eligible for social tariff broadband have actually signed up, with 4.3 million potentially eligible people apparently missing out. We’d like to hear about your experience if you’ve signed up for social tariff broadband or what made you decide against it.

Claimants on a range of benefits are eligible for social tariff broadband deals.

All the major suppliers offer a cheaper deal if you are on Universal Credit, Pension Credit, Employment and Support Allowance, Jobseeker’s Allowance or Income Support.

Some also extend their offer to PIP claimants.

Prices range from £10 to £20 a month with speeds from 15 to 100 Mbits, depending on the supplier.

The Ofcom website has a full list of suppliers and prices, with links to their individual terms and conditions.

Citizens Advice estimates that one million people have cancelled their broadband in the last year because of the cost of living, with UC claimants 12 times more likely to have done so than non-claimants.

Yet social tariff deals are not proving popular and Citizens Advice wants Ofcom to "hold firms' feet to the fire" to improve their take-up.

But is it just lack of awareness of these schemes that is holding people back? Or is it that mobile phones are a necessity while home broadband is an unaffordable luxury for many claimants, no matter how cheap the deal?

Please let us know your opinion of the scheme in the comments section.

You can read the full story on the BBC website.

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    Anon · 1 months ago
    As an existing customer of virgin media, my circumstances changed due to my health. After months of struggling to meet bills I was unable to pay the latest and rang them for help. 
    Basically there wasn't any.
    They would not change my package in any way shape or form while there was an outstanding bill.
    They wouldn't allow payment by installment.
    They wouldn't entertain even seeing if I was eligible for social tariff or offer any other help.
    I then googled their essential package. It says people in receipt of esa were eligible, but there was a clause saying people on contribution based esa were not eligible. 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Libby · 1 months ago
    You can compare social tariff broadband options on FasterBroadband here: https://www.fasterbroadband.co.uk/social-broadband-tariffs select your welfare option, then click your preferred provider. Everything is listed in price order with the cheapest first.
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    T N · 1 months ago
    I just got off a call with BT asking them about the social tariff as I am aready a customer with them. I get PIP so don't qualify, working and being disabled means I get nothing.............Fair I do not think so, as it makes you want to give up work and sit at home!
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    Kalli · 4 months ago
    None of the ISPs can access my eligibility through the national insurance database because my surname is a single letter, for example G. 

    I asked someone at the national insurance offices he then changed my surname to three letters to help make it work but explained they're just changing things from the front end. Thus it hasn't solved the issue. I have emailed and telephone so many different departments who all respond by saying they can't help.

    An ISP can only prove my eligibility through the national insurance database. You can't email them a photo of a benefits letter for example. 

    I don't suppose the authors of this website and article will read this, though they asked us to "Let Us Know" or can provide a solution. But you never know...
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    Livi · 4 months ago
    I have applied to Vodafone for the £12 a month broadband but have been waiting for them to call me back for over a week. Doesn't seem hopeful as a quick google search I can see people have had issues with them getting back to people who have applied and general customer services can't help as it is a different team which means stuck waiting. Think I will try BT and see if they are better. 
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    Valerie · 5 months ago
    Did not realise I could apply
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    Marian · 8 months ago
    Why are PIP Claimants denied Social Tarriff Broadband with the big Internet Companies.
    As I am not claiming Pension Credit cannot get any help. Also just had to pay £500 Dental work!  £200 for Glasses !  This seems very unfair compared to others getting Benefits, I am a 72 year old disabled Pensioner with Rare Incurable Disease. My partner/Carer is 75 years old and gives me my injections.  We both worked since 15 yrs old.
    I also pay nearly all my rent and Council Tax. 
    and sky high gas electric and water rates.  
    Others I know get everything paid for!  What help can we please get?
    My Sky tv and broadband is £102 per month!
    Would be great if I could get the Social Tarriff.

    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      kevin · 6 months ago
      @Marian Hello marion you can go on to vodafone Social Tarriff Broadband 12£ a month
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    Deborah · 8 months ago
    I took up the social tariff about a year ago when I found out about it. Landline and broadband for £20 a month, what’s not to like? Saved me about £30 a month. Great news. I’ve told several people about it but don’t know if they took it up. 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Doris · 9 months ago
    I have been on BT's social tariff for a few months now and I am happy with it so far. I did have problems connecting existing phones, but BT sent me two digital voice phones free of charge. I now pay £15 per month instead of more than £35,
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    Ellen · 9 months ago
    I am with Shell BB and getting Pension credit, but they cannot put me on Their social tariff as they cannot find my name on the system that varifies that I receive Pension credit.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Dannybee · 9 months ago
    The main reason I am not using this social tariff is  because they tell you to ring to apply and I struggle with phone calls and communication  due to ADHD and autism , they need to be forced to have a way to apply with out phone calls , another thing is alot of folks on benefits can have bad credit due to not being able to afford the bills in the past  and these isp just reject them
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Nadja · 9 months ago
    I was pleased when I asked British Telecom whether I could switch to a social tariff. 
    BT replied "yes" and the new tariff would be effective from my next bill. 
     Wow. Just wow. 
     I am wondering why organisations such as Vodafone make things so difficult. 
     Oh well. 
    Thank Heavenly Father for British Telecom, folks. 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Sooz · 9 months ago
    Changed from ee, paying £35 before April increase. Now with bt on social tariff of £20, same speeds etc and 2 voice phones with minutes inc
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    PipsterA50 · 9 months ago
    I beg all eligible claimants to take advantage of this benefit! Please do it, it is very easy and you can get a huge reduction in what you pay for and you get an excellent deal on your phone and broadband. I'm getting unlimited calls to landlines and mobiles plus extras, and unlimited broadband at their highest speeds. It's a no brainer to get this deal and save money and get good service.  Now it needs to be used to drop our energy bills by introducing a social tariff for energy just like this phone and broadband is being done! 
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    Iain · 9 months ago
    We looked into the so
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Moira · 10 months ago
    I'd never heard of this social tariff until I read about it in your newsletter. Unfortunately, of the admittedly small number of firms I had time to contact, none operated the scheme in my area of central Scotland. I receive the highest award of PIP, am disabled, we are living on small pensions and my husband's health has taken a nosedive in recent months with him adding heart failure to his list of ailments but I cannot persuade him to apply for PIP or the Scottish equivalent (which I only heard about via your newsletter). With the cost of living rocketing and both of us becoming more housebound in recent months, I am seriously considering leaving our current supplier, Virgin, and looking for a cheaper alternative but finding the wherewithal to keep looking is the problem. However, I must make the attempt especially as our Virgin contact is approaching the renewal date. Thank you for supplying the information regarding social tariffs.  I will re-read the information and look again when I have the chance and am well enough to search through all the different companies for help.  Thank you for all your very helpful information.
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    Jo · 10 months ago
    My problem with this is that I would lose the discount I get for having multiple services from the same provider, and it would be difficult to work out which is the better option.  
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      m wright · 9 months ago
      @Jo i have same issue with sky. i am currently paying £28.50 per month for my BB, (which includes £4 for boost and other things that are free)? however it is part of a discounted bundle with sky tv etc. i am concerned about my rating with them will reduce discounts in other areas, such as i have my mobile with 6 sims, for family. will that be impacted as well?
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    IanP · 10 months ago
    Hi, we was with BT paying £29.99 which rose to 34.50 I believe it was so we phoned them to cancel the contract, which when they said we maybe eligible for their Social Tariff.  We knew there be a cancellation charge but that ended up getting waived due to your misleading and incorrect advice / information given to us.  Anyway we used to have they Full Fibre (not really fibre) broadband with no phone, now we have the same broadband and 250 inclusive phone minutes with 2 of their HD phones for £15 per month and no contract so can cancel anytime we want.  On another service we also have Yorkshire Waters Social Tariff which is approx. 50% off.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Jim · 10 months ago
    I changed to Vodafone broadband social tarriff early March 2023. £22 a month minus the £10 social tarriff so costs £12 a month. Speeds said to be a garenteed 29 Mbps I get between 20 - 28 Mbps and so far have never been charged a penny. I'm doubtful this is due to the guarantee and more likely due to lost paperwork on the system which was something mentioned by a Vodafone operative when I phoned to complain about not meeting the minimum speed. The speed I do get is quite adequate for my needs and I save the £12 per month in case I eventually do need to pay - I would argue against this as they haven't achieved guaranteed speeds in the contract. I have this exclusively for broadband and choose not to use a landline although I could if I wanted to. I heard about social tarriff broadband from Martin Lewis from the money saving expert dit com I had to wait for my last broadband contract to end before moving to this. Most people I speak to haven't heard of social tarriff, and then of course they may already be tied to a contract for X number of months both of these factors would affect take up rates. I'm happy I chose a social tarriff.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Mark F · 10 months ago
    I switched to mobile broadband (via my smartphone hotspot) in 2011 and I have never looked back. This was due to living in Hull where KC Communications held the monopoly and were consequently pretty expensive with no competition to get better deals 🤬

    Even when moving to a new location I never bothered with a fixed line. I just didn't see the point in paying for a mobile AND fixed line. It's probably saved me £5000 in 12 years (including the electricity costs of leaving the Wi-Fi box switched on). Now with the advances in mobile technology to 5G etc a fixed line is even less necessary. It also saves having extra wires and equipment (aka clutter!) in the home, not to mention reducing previously mentioned electricity costs. A major consideration now prices are sky high! 
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