Millions of people will see the end of their free TV licence this month, as following the funding row between the government and the BBC.

All over 75s will have to pay the full £157.50 cost from August for the first time in more than two decades in the dispute between the broadcaster and politicians.

TV Licensing has already started to write directly to customers with guidance on how they should pay their bills, reports MirrorOnline.

It said no-one will be expected to pay for a new licence until they have been contacted in writing. New payments plans will include an option for pensioners to spread the cost in weekly, fortnightly or monthly instalments.

Under the new terms, the benefit will be means-tested instead, meaning anyone qualifying for pensions credit, will still get a free licence.

TV Licensing said it will be operating a "self-verification system" where people have to demonstrate that they receive pension credit when the new rules come into force.

According to consumer expert Martin Lewis, one million people are unaware they qualify for the extra support. It means now is the time to apply - before the bill drops through the letterbox.

Who qualifies for pensions credit?

Anyone over state pension age, lives in the UK, and earns less than £173.75 a week as a single person or £265.20 a week as a couple, including pensions, savings and work, could be entitled to a top up.

Could you get Pension Credit, which entitles you to a free TV licence and other discounts? It's time to find out
Could you get Pension Credit, which entitles you to a free TV licence and other discounts? It's time to find out

Calculations take into account:

The good news is the calculation does  not  include:

Slightly different rules apply in Northern Ireland, which  you can read here.

These other benefits are available

As well as free access to TV, those who claim the benefit may also get a council tax reduction, £25 a week off gas bills, free dental care and a £140 warm home discount to cover winter heating costs.

You don't have to suffer in silence if you're struggling with your mental health. Here are some groups you can contact when you need help:

Samaritans: Phone 116 123, 24 hours a day, or email jo@samaritans.org, in confidence

Childline: Phone 0800 1111. Calls are free and won't show up on your bill

PAPYRUS: A voluntary organisation supporting suicidal teens and young adults. Phone 0800 068 4141

Depression Alliance: A charity for people with depression. No helpline but offers useful resources and links to other information on its website

Students Against Depression: A website for students who are depressed, have low mood, or are suicidal. Click here to visit

Bullying UK: A website for both children and adults affected by bullying. Click here

Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM): For young men who are feeling unhappy. Has a website here and a helpline: 0800 58 58 58

Over 65s who wear glasses may also qualify for vouchers worth up to £215 as well as housing benefit to help cover rent payments.

How to apply?

The scheme, which is run by the Department for Work and Pensions, is not automatic and requires assessment before being granted.

It's largely available to those who live in the UK, have reached state pension age (any partner must also be at state pension age) and have less than £10,000 in savings.

It is possible to receive a reduced payment for those with more in savings. Those also in receipt of state pension can apply via  Gov.uk  but otherwise phone the Pension Service on 0800 99 1234.

"From August, free TV licences for over-75s will only be available to households where someone gets pension credit," said Martin Lewis.

"But more than a million of society's poorest families miss out on the benefit despite being eligible."

A full guide on who who can claim pensions credit is available here.