If you are in receipt of certain types of benefit, you are eligible to receive up to 50% off your monthly broadband price.
On average, our research shows that each eligible household could save £144 a year on their broadband costs – and you might not even have to switch provider. What’s more, a lot of these broadband deals are available for both new AND existing customers.
How is this possible? Well, a little-known government initiative, backed by Ofcom, called ‘Social Tariff’ is now available from many broadband providers in the UK – to get it, you need to be receiving certain benefits to be eligible.
The most recent Ofcom figures from October 2022 show that more than 100,000 households have now switched to a Social Tariff for their broadband.
On this page
How can a broadband Social Tariff save me money?
They’re delivered in the same way as normal broadband packages, just at a lower price. Here’s a summary:
- It’s available to those on various benefits. Not just Universal Credit, some providers will accept PIP, JSA, ESA, Carers Allowance and many more.
- Save approx. £180 off your annual broadband bill. The average saving is around £15 a month.
- Fast, unlimited broadband. You’ll be getting the same package as other customers who pay full price.
- It’s free to switch (mostly). Read the fine print first but most providers will move you over to a cheaper plan for nowt.
- No exit or termination fees. If you decide it’s not for you, then you can leave without penalty. And most of the providers have no minimum contract length either.
At a glance: What can I get?
Here are the top offers from the biggest broadband and fibre providers in the UK, as of today:
|Broadband product||Price||Avg. Speed (/s)||Eligibility|
|BT Home Essentials||£15 – £20 a month||36 – 67 Mb||See eligibility|
|G.Network Essential Fibre||£15 a month||50 Mb||See eligibility|
|Hyperoptic Fair Fibre||£15 – £28 a month||50 – 150 Mb||See eligibility|
|KCOM Full Fibre Flex||£19.99 a month||30 Mb||See eligibility|
|NOW Broadband Basics||£20 a month||35 Mb||See eligibility|
|Sky Broadband Basics||£20 a month||35 Mb||See eligibility|
|Virgin Media Essential||£12.50 a month||15 Mb||See eligibility|
|Vodafone Essentials Broadband||£12 a month||38 Mb||See eligibility|
Generally, most of these broadband offers are available to both new AND existing customers, though this is not the case for every single one – so make sure to read each page individually first to be sure, by clicking on “See eligibility”.
Here at SocialTariff.co.uk, we compare prices on Social Tariff broadband deals. If you are in receipt of Universal Credit in particular, then compare all UK Universal Credit broadband prices by entering your postcode here.
But, unlike Uswitch or other price comparison websites, we show you much cheaper deals. This is because we are the first website to compare Social Tariff prices in the UK. And not just for broadband – you can also compare monthly social tariff prices on energy, water, mobile contracts, even car breakdown cover. The list is growing constantly.
How come I have never heard of social tariffs before?
The take-up for the new Social Tariff system has been woefully low – this is for a number of reasons. The most likely, is that there is still some confusion among providers. In our experience, many are not even fully aware of the Social Tariff system.
The second reason is because not all broadband providers offer Social Tariff contracts. And the ones that do are reluctant to advertise them, as they make less profit on them. But Ofcom has ruled that this must change. Slowly, word is getting out, and more broadband deals are appearing.
If you do not see your desired broadband provider above, then don’t worry. More companies are being added all the time, but the details are still being refined among industry experts and UK Government.
We anticipate that, by mid-2023, the list of providers supporting broadband ‘Social Tariff’ system will be a lot longer. So keep checking back.
What if my internet provider is not on the list?
Sadly, if your provider is not on this list, it means that you probably won’t be able to get a Social Tariff discount.
However, if you don’t fancy switching to another provider who does offer Social Tariff discounts, then you can always keep checking back for updates on this page.
We promise to update it as soon as we hear of new providers offering Social Tariff discounts.
The other option is to contact your existing provider and inform them if you are having financial difficulties. In many cases, they may move you to a cheaper, more basic monthly plan.
Am I eligible for Social Tariff broadband?
If you are in receipt of Universal Credit (employment based), then you are almost guaranteed to be accepted if you apply for any of the above broadband offers.
This includes major providers like BT, Sky, Virgin, Vodafone and many more. That is because all of them have the basic requirement that you must be on Universal Credit (UC) to be able to apply.
However, if you are in receipt of other benefits and not Universal Credit, then don’t panic. You may still be eligible.
For example, Vodafone have said that they will accept those who are in receipt of ANY of the following: Universal Credit, PIP, JSA, and even ESA.
Vodafone owned VOXI have also recently launched the UK’s first SIM-only contract for social tariff users.
If you are confused about the eligibility requirements or the application process, then the best method is to read each individual page that we’ve created, where we outline the exact requirements for each company.
How is my eligibility checked?
Again, each broadband provider has a different method to verify your status.
For example, if you are signing up to Vodafone, then they ask you to take a screenshot of your Universal Credit (UC) statement, and will contact you within 2-3 hours by phone or email.
BT, on the other hand, have a fully automated application process meaning you will get an instant acceptance or rejection. It really depends on each company and their own policies.
Where can I read more about this Social Tariff system?
There is more information on the broadband social tariff system at the OFCOM website here.
Or get in touch with us, a member of our team will be glad to assist.