I slashed my phone bill by £300 because I’m on Universal Credit with one quick call – how you can too | The Sun

YOU could cut your broadband bill in half if you're on Universal Credit – and all you need to do is call up.

Broadband deals are available for those on benefits who are struggling with the cost of living.

It's estimated that around four million households are missing out on these cheaper tariffs offered by some broadband firms, and savings of hundreds of pounds a year.

One savvy customer managed to slash £25 a month off her BT broadband and landline bill because she's on Universal Credit – saving her a whopping £300 over a year.

Single mum Gina Hackett, 43, heard from a friend that she could get money off her bill if she called up BT.

She was originally paying £40 a month for her internet and landline phone, and now she dishes out just £15.

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Gina told The Sun: "I just rang them up. I don't have TV with them -I've got a BT box but I use it for Freeview – so I don't pay for any extra channels because I can't afford that.

"They said that they had two options – one at £15 where you get 750 minutes of free calls to your landline and mobile, which I thought was absolutely fantastic because I've never got credit on my phone."

Gina was also offered a package worth £20 which had more free minutes but decided the cheaper option suited her.

Her 12-year-old son loves streaming and downloading music and videos.

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With the new deal, she was happy to hear she wouldn't pay any extra for these activities.

Gina said: "I think everyone is struggling at the moment with the cost of bills, food, fuel and energy – it's everything. So it all helps.

"And now I'm able to call up my son's school without worrying I don't have enough minutes."

BT's deal is the Home Essentials tariff. Alongside your free minutes, you'll also get average download speeds of 36 Mbps.

Most other broadband providers have their own offers going.

For example, Sky launched a cheaper broadband tariff to those on low incomes called the Sky Broadband Basics.

The new £20 a month deal will be for existing Sky customers who are getting Universal Credit or Pension Credit, and it should save you roughly £90 over 18 months.

Also, Vodafone expanded eligibility for its social tariff for Voxi customers amid the cost of living crisis.

Voxi, which is part of Vodafone, is offering its half a million customers unlimited 5G data, calls and texts for £10 a month for up to six months if they are getting certain benefits.

You could save £150 over this time using the Vodafone tariff.

If you want to check what deals are available for you, you'll need to get in touch with your broadband provider directly.

These may differ depending on who you're with and firms don't always shout about them.

Like Gina, you might need to be on Universal Credit to be eligible for reduction schemes.

These are known as social tariffs, but not all firms offer them and eligibility criteria can vary.

When you call up and ask your provider if they offer one of these cheaper tariffs. Or you could move to another company that does offer them.

If you're in a contract already, the process of getting a reduction might take longer and you should check there are any exit fees first.

What other schemes can help me manage the cost of living?

There are plenty of other ways to get a helping hand amidst the cost of living crisis.

For example, The Household Support Fund is helping those on low income pay for essentials and bills.

What you get depends on which council area you're in, because they all give out money in different ways.

For example, Birmingham are lending a free £200 in cash to help with food and bills.

To check if you're eligible and what you could get, call up your local council.

There are also other schemes available – British Gas has opened its hardship fund which could give you £1,000 towards your energy bills.

Also, you can use an online benefits calculator to make sure you're not missing out on any extra cash.

Similarly, you can search for grants that can help you pay for gas and electricity bills.

For example, the E.on Next Energy Fund can help customers through grants as well as through replacing an appliance such as a cooker, fridge or washing machine.

It's not clear how much you could get with this grant, but you'll need to be in financial hardship if you want to apply.

You can read more about it and apply on the company website.

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If you're still struggling for ways to get help, we've listed some more great ways to help you with bills as inflation soars.

And remember there are still great charities who will help tide you over for a while, including:

  • National Debtline – 0808 808 4000
  • Step Change – 0800 138 1111
  • Citizens Advice – 0808 800 9060

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