For example, if you're a recipient of certain benefits, BT lets you pay less than their usual prices but there are also limits.
If you'd like to get online or you rely on your landline to make phone calls but can't afford the bills, you have a few options.
BT currently offers anyone to apply for a phone deal for as little as £5.10 a month, or a broadband and phone package for £9.95 a month – while Virgin Media has frozen the prices for some customers.
The eligibility criteria differs between the providers, so we've made a round-up of your options and all the details you need to know below.
Usually you'll need to share personal details such as your National Insurance number as well as confirm which benefits you are receiving or details of any disabilities.
BT Basic and BT Basic Plus
BT is required by law to run the so-called social tariff at a loss in order to make sure struggling Brits aren't cut off completely from keeping in touch over the phone or internet – and it's available for both BT customers and non-customers.
Basic aims to keep phones ringing in the most vulnerable households by charging as little as £5.10 a month – and it comes with a £1.50 call allowance.
If you go over the call allowance, you’ll be charged for any calls made up to the amount of £10.
You also get free weekend calls to 0845 and 0870 numbers up to a total of 60 minutes.
If you'd like to get more than just a landline, you should take a look at BT's Basic + Broadband service, which costs £9.95 a month for both a phone line and broadband.
There are no installation charges, so you just have to pay for delivery of the router.
The broadband package comes with a monthly usage of 15GB, which typically means you can browse the internet for up to half an hour a day.
Top tips for getting the best deal with your current provider
- If you're out of contract or nearing the end, call your provider and say you're going to leave unless they can better the deal you're on.
- Check out price comparison sites, such as Compare The Market and USwitch, so you know the best deals available on the market – use this data when negotiating with your current provider.
- Don't forget to not just haggle on cost – you can get them up on speeds, improved router and other freebies.
- If you don't like what's offered, you can walk away and find a better deal elsewhere.
The deals are available for those who receive either income support, jobseeker's allowance, pensions credit, employment and support allowance as well as universal credit recipients with no earnings.
It's available for anyone to apply meaning it's possible for customers of other suppliers to switch to BT for the deal – you just need to make sure it's your name on the application form.
The Sun has asked BT to clarify whether there's a maximum earnings threshold for those who are eligible, so we'll update this article once we hear back.
How do I apply?
You'll need to order an application form from BT by calling 0800 800 864 – and you'll have 14 days to return it after receiving it.
When BT has all your information, they'll check your personal details against benefits information held by the Department for Work and Pensions and then let you know whether you've been successful in your claim.
Keep in mind though that as the call allowance and amount of data is limited, it may not be the best option for you.
Talk Protected plan from Virgin Media
If you have a disability or you're above the age of 65 and you're a customer with Virgin Media, you can get a Talk Protected plan from the provider bundled in with your broadband.
As part of Talk Protected, line rental charges are frozen at £17.99 and won't rise any further.
Meanwhile, other Virgin Media customers saw price hikes of up to £48 in August last year.
You'll also get free evening and weekend calls, flexible payment options as well as £5 off other Virgin Phone plans.
How do I apply?
- Limited mobility
- Limited speech and language
- Limited dexterity
- Cognitive or learning disabilities
- Blindness or poor sight
- Deafness or being hard of hearing
The Sun has also contacted the two other providers of the so-called Big Four broadband providers – Talk Talk and Sky – about any deals they may have for hard-up Brits but they did not get back to us before the publication of this article.
But based on its websites it doesn't look like they're offering such deals, and The Sun hasn't been able to find any other schemes either.
If you're struggling to pay your energy bills and you've racked up debt, you may be eligible for a grant of £1,000.
Or if that's not you, here are other ways to cut your bills by hundreds of pounds.
Meanwhile, millions of TV and broadband customers are paying up to £700 a year extra – here's how to haggle for a better deal or switch.
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