A new DWP system makes it easier than ever for low-income families to sign up to discounted broadband and could save households as much as £180 a year compared to industry average tariffs.
Introduced last summer, the government scheme lets internet service providers – with claimants’ permission – ask the DWP to automatically verify their customers’ benefit entitlement. This means people do not need to actively prove they claim benefits whilst on a tariff designed for those on low incomes, as they did previously, often as frequently as every month.
Sky and its subsidiary brand NOW join a growing list of providers signing up to the government initiative to help millions access cut price broadband, with WightFibre already signed up to the scheme.
Minister for Social Mobility, Youth and Progression Mims Davies said:
Claimants who think they might be eligible for one of these tariffs, should contact their provider.
This is just one of the ways we are working to help households during these tough times as part of the government’s £37 billion support package for those most in need. Do use the DWP benefits calculator, which is a helpful tool for those looking to see if they could access wider support.
Before the new system was introduced, people were regularly required to verify their entitlement to providers with Jobcentre letters or screenshots of their Universal Credit account.
The availability of social tariffs has been strengthened recently thanks to a drive by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to encourage telecommunicators to expand their range of cheaper deals.
Broadband social tariff take-up more than doubled in 2022 to 136,000 households and the cross-government Help for Households programme, which aims to help people with the increased cost of living, recently launched a UK-wide public awareness campaign to drive awareness and uptake further.
Those in receipt of benefits interested in exploring broadband tariff options should visit Ofcom’s website to view the full list of options on offer from providers.