People on certain DWP benefits can get £15 fiber broadband packages from BT and Virgin Media



The cost of living crisis is prompting people to take a closer look at their finances to find possible ways to reduce their outgoings and with switching energy suppliers off the table (for now), one of the most obvious ways is to look at your broadband package .

Those on a low income or Universal Credit or other means-tested legacy benefits from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) or HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) may be eligible for £15 monthly broadband packages available from BT and Virgin Media.

The fiber broadband packages are designed to keep those on a low income connected. Below is everything you need to know about them.

BT Home Essentials – £15 per month

BT Home Essentials is the new name for BT Basic, providing broadband and home phone services to customers on benefits.

Two broadband packages are available with speeds of 36Mb and 67Mb, while customers who just want a landline can sign up for home phone only with unlimited minutes.

The eligibility criteria for BT Home Essentials are tight and customers must be in receipt of certain benefits to qualify.

Eligibility for BT Home Essentials

BT Home Essentials is open to new or existing BT customers who are receiving one of the following benefits:

  • Universal Credit
  • Pension Credit (Guarantee Credit)
  • Income Support
  • Jobseeker’s Allowance (income based or with contributory allowance that is less than the income based portion)
  • Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

The person in receipt of an eligible benefit must be the named account holder on their BT Homes Essentials plan.

BT package options

Home Essentials Unlimited Fiber Essentials

  • Cost: £15 per month (12 month contract)
  • Speed: 36Mb average
  • Upfront costs: Free

Home Essentials Unlimited Fiber

  • Cost: £20 per month (12 month contract)
  • Speed: 67Mb average
  • Upfront costs: Free

Home Essentials – Calls Only

  • Cost: £10 per month (12 month contract)
  • Upfront costs: Free

Eligibility checks

When a customer applies for BT Home Essentials, they will need to pass an eligibility check. This will include the type of personal information normally supplied when applying for broadband such as surnames and addresses.

However, applicants will also need to supply their date of birth and National Insurance number so their specific eligibility for Home Essentials can be checked.

An option of a security deposit is available for those with low credit scores.

Find out more on the BT Home Essentials here.

Virgin Media Essential Broadband

Virgin Media Essential broadband helps you get online for £15 a month with a 15Mbps fiber broadband speed.

Eligibility for Virgin Media Essential broadband

It’s a broadband-only package available if you’re already a Virgin Media customer and you receive Universal Credit.

To qualify for this pack, Virgin Media needs the account owner to show some proof that they receive Universal Credit before they can set them up.

To apply, just fill in an online application form and they will email you back with how to complete the eligibility checks.

As soon as they go through, they will swap you over and you won’t have to pay any extra fees or charges for changing from your current Virgin Media services.

£15 monthly cost won’t change

Virgin says it will keep you connected at £15 a month for as long as you’re eligible. This means the price of your Essential broadband pack won’t change while you’re receiving Universal Credit payments.

Broadband-only package

The Essential broadband pack is a broadband-only service, so if you’re currently taking TV and/or home phone with Virgin, these services will be cancelled.

Financial help available in Scotland

Flexible 30-day contracts

Essential broadband is a 30-day rolling contract, which means whenever you’re ready to go back to your usual Virgin Media services, just give them a call and they will sort it all out for you.

If you ever want to switch to Essential broadband again, you can just reapply the same way.

Find out more about Virgin Media Essential broadband here.

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www.dailyrecord.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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