Pensioners who qualify for free TV licences will be able to get them without having to provide extra paperwork under new rules laid before Parliament last week.

The BBC used to provide free licences for all over-75s, but that changed in 2020 and only those who receive Pension Credit are now eligible.

Pension Credit is a means-tested benefit aimed at older people on a state pension, meaning that the free licences are now targeted at those on a low income.

Around 7,000 over-75s are eligible for the free licence, and currently they must provide the BBC with documentation each month to show that they are in receipt of Pension Credit.

The change will allow the BBC to automatically verify whether an individual is in receipt of the benefit with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

The person will still need to apply, whether online or over the phone, but they will no longer need to supply additional paperwork to back up the claim.

The Government said that the change will help pensioners who might be struggling to keep on top of their bills to make what adds up to an annual saving of £159 more quickly and with less hassle.

Pensions Minister Guy Opperman said that they wanted everyone to claim the benefits they are entitled to.

He said that Pension Credit could act as a “gateway” for other benefits, including the free TV licence, and added that the change would “help reduce the administrative burden on over-75s and put their minds at ease”.

These changes are expected to come into effect next year.