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Broadband social tariffs: what are cheaper deals for benefit claimants - and how to check if you’re eligible

These are the best social tarrifs available now - from BT to Virgin Media

<p>These are the best social tarrifs available now - from BT to Virgin Media.</p>

These are the best social tarrifs available now - from BT to Virgin Media.

As the cost of living crisis continues, many of us are looking for ways to save money and cut costs.

If you are claiming certain benefits, you may be able to get a monthly broadband deal at a reduced price.

Here are the best deals available right now, and how to check if you’re eligible.

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What are social tariffs?

Social tariffs are discounted broadband packages available for people who are in receipt of certain benefits such as Universal Credit, Pension Credit, Jobseeker’s Allowance or Income Support.

These discounted deals are available to an estimated 4.2 million households across the country who get this benefit.

Millions of families under pressure from the rising cost of living could be missing out on a £144 saving on their broadband bills, Ofcom has warned.

Which broadband providers offer social tariffs?

We’ve compiled a list of the best broadband only deals which have social tariffs (not including landline or TV packages) on the market today.

These packages are priced at between £10 and £20 a month for broadband speeds ranging from 10Mbit/s to 67Mbit/s.

We’ve detailed these different details below. As well as detailing monthly costs, we’ve also included upload and download speeds where possible.

How much can I save on a social tariff?

A standard broadband package currently costs £27 a month, which works out at around 8.3% of the monthly disposable income of someone claiming unemployment benefits.

A social tariff that costs £15, for example, could nearly halve the impact of the monthly bill, reducing it to just 4.6% of their disposable income.

If you are eligible for a social tariff then you can save up to £144 a year on your broadband bills.

Regulatory body Ofcom is urging people to take advantage of these deals, as just 55,000 homes have currently signed up for one - meaning over 4 million houses are still missing out.

See our round-up of the best deals below.

Why don’t some providers offer social tariffs?

Some broadband providers are yet to offer any discounted deals for people in receipt of Universal Credit.

It’s unclear why this is, but Ofcom is said to be urging EE, Plusnet, Shell, Sky, TalkTalk and Vodafone to support struggling households by also introducing social tariffs.

What offers are available to me if I’m not eligible for a social tariff?

Ofcom has found that, amid the cost of living crisis, around 1.1 million households are struggling to afford their home broadband bill - that’s 5% of houses.

Low income families are also affected the most, however, with that figure rising to one in 10 houses.

Not everybody is eligible for a social tariff, but if you’re not then don’t worry. We have rounded up some of the best February broadband deals.

What social tariffs are available?

These are all the social tariffs available right now:

  • BT Home Essentials: £15 a month with average speeds of 67Mbps. Available to people in receipt of Universal Credit, Pension Credit, Employment and Support Allowance, Jobseeker’s Allowance and Income Support.
  • Hyperoptic Fair Fibre 50: £15 a month with an average speed of 50Mbps. Available to people in receipt of Income Support, Pension Credit, Income-related Job Seekers Allowance, Housing Benefit, Personal Independence Payment, Attendance Allowance, Universal Credit, Care Leavers support and Income-related Employment and Support Allowance.
  • Hyperoptic Fair Fibre 150: £25 a month with an average speed of 150Mbps. Available to people in receipt of Income Support, Pension Credit, Income-related Job Seekers Allowance, Housing Benefit, Personal Independence Payment, Attendance Allowance, Universal Credit, Care Leavers support and Income-related Employment and Support Allowance.
  • KCOM Full Fibre Flex: £19.99 a month with an average speed of 30Mbps. Available to people in receipt of Income Support, Pension Credit, Job Seekers Allowance, Housing Benefit, Personal Independence Payment, Attendance Allowance, Universal Credit, Care Home residents and Lifeline customers who are referred to the service via Social Services, Care Leavers and Employment and Support Allowance.
  • Virgin Media Essential Broadband: £15 a month with an average speed of 15Mbps. Available to people in receipt of Universal Credit.

You’ll need to prove you are eligible for these tariffs before signing up.

Check the specific details with each of these providers directly, but in most cases you will be able to do this by providing your national insurance number.