Millions of Universal Credit applicants could be deprived of free high-speed Internet access.
Around 5.9 million people in the UK are estimated to be claiming Universal Credit by the Department for Work and Pensions in June 2021.
And money-saving expert Martin Lewis has revealed that you could miss out on completely free internet access – if you meet certain criteria.
Here’s how you can get free internet if you’re currently claiming Universal Credit.
In September 2021, the TalkTalk Network partnered with the DWP to launch a program offering job seekers six months of free high-speed internet.
At the time, Daniel Kasmir, director of human resources and purchasing at TalkTalk, said the move would “democratise the internet and bring affordable, high-quality connectivity to all, helping to bridge the digital divide in the UK”. .
Six per cent of all homes in the UK have no internet access, meaning 1.5 million people are offline, according to Ofcom data.
Speaking on The Money Show Live on Friday, January 14, Martin Lewis explained how UC claimants could take advantage of this offer.
“There are social tariffs there,” he said. “If you are unemployed, your Jobcentre may be able to put you in touch with TalkTalk to benefit from its free broadband for job seekers for six months.”
Fibre35 offers average speeds of 38Mbps and typically costs £22 per month on a two-year contract, plus £10 postage. But Universal Credit seekers can get six months free before they have the choice of switching to an ongoing TalkTalk contract or canceling.
However, you must claim UC and have a job coach through the Jobcentre to qualify.
What exactly do I get and how do I apply?
The offer is a six-month contract-free offer with no credit check required. Product usage is also uncapped, meaning there are no data usage limits (apart from the usual consumer lounge usage constraints).
However, you will not receive TalkTalk TV or calls as part of the agreement. At the end of the six-month period, customers can choose to upgrade to a contract with TalkTalk or can cancel the service at no additional charge or sign-up fee once it ends, provided all equipment is return.
To apply, all you need to do is use a DWP referral code, which should have already been sent to you automatically to claim the offer when you signed up for Universal Credit.
If you can’t find an email about this, contact your Jobcentre job coach and they should get you a new code. Find your nearest JobCentre Plus here.
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