One of the nice things about living in the modern world is that we can communicate with anyone almost instantly via phone. For people with disabilities, having the ability to use the phone is extra important as we may not be able to physically go places as easily. Whether it be PCAs or our doctors, or even friends and family, there are a lot of things that we need to keep up to date on. Phone plans can be expensive, especially when you might not be able to work full-time due to disability. Luckily, BT Basic is a service that provides low-cost phone service to those that qualify, giving people more independence.
Do You Qualify for BT Basic Phone Service?
Like most things we discuss here, there are requirements you must meet in order to receive BT Basic. These requirements are that you must be getting one of the following benefits:
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Pensions Credit (Guaranteed Credit)
- Employment and Support Allowance (Income related)
- Universal Credit (and are on zero earnings).
In addition, you must also be the named account holder to apply.
What BT Basic Offers
BT Basic allows for individuals, not just the disabled, who are low income have access to a phone line. There are specifics, however, like other phone plans. Under BT Basic, you will get:
- Local and national UK phone numbers that begin ’01’, ’02’ or ’03’
- UK mobile numbers ‘07’
- ‘08’ numbers
- International calls
What Doesn’t BT Basic Cover?
Like most services, there are certain things BT Basic won’t cover under the discounted rate. The two things BT Basic does not cover are:
- Calls made through the operator
- Premium-rate numbers
For these calls, you will be charged the standard BT rate, which you can find on their website here.
How Much Does it cost?
Having phone access is great and necessary, but it can cost a lot. BT Basic is discounted, but by how much? What are the fees associated with it? BT Basic will charge you either monthly or quarterly, and you will be charged:
- Low monthly line rental of £5.16 that comes with a call allowance of £1.50. You also get free weekend calls to 0845 and 0870 numbers (up to 60 minutes).
- Monthly ‘Price Cap’ of £10 for calls starting 01, 02, 03 and UK mobiles starting 07 and to 08 numbers. Which means, after you have used your £1.50 call allowance, you pay a maximum of £10 a month for calls to the above numbers.
On their website, they state that these numbers are subject to change if they feel you are going over the £10 a month, but they will contact you first.
BT Basic + Broadband
In addition to a phone service, you can also get broadband internet for a discounted rate. When bundled with the phone service, it will cost £10.07 a month. You won’t need to pay a connection charge, but you will need to pay a postage fee to get the connection hub sent to your home. Under BT Basic + Broadband, each month you will get:
- 15GB usage, which typically means you can:
- browse the internet for up to half an hour a day
- stream enough video to watch one standard definition film a month
- Upload 100 photos to Instagram or Facebook a month
- Listen to 100 music tracks (or ten albums) a month
- Play online games for an hour a week
- BT Virus Protect & BT Parental Controls
- BT Wi-fi, with access to over five million public wireless hotspots in the UK. See our help section for BT Wi-Fi
If you go over your monthly limit of 15 GB, you will be charged extra and be notified via email.
Applying to BT Basic and BT Basic + Broadband
Now that you know what the services offer, how do you apply? They can be reached at 0800 800 864 during their working hours of 8am-6pm Monday-Friday to ask for an application. They will start your application process, and you’ll be given forms to fill out. They are going to need the following information to prove that you qualify:
- your date of birth
- your National Insurance number
- confirm the benefit you are receiving
- remembering to sign and date your application before returning it in the pre-paid envelope.
After the forms are submitted, they will be reviewed as quickly as possible and you will be contacted if they have any further questions.
Phone and internet are basic necessities in today’s world. Luckily, for disabled people and people who are low income, there is an affordable option.