Free bus pass: Millions of carers could be missing out on freebie – could you?

Sadiq Khan quizzed by pensioner on future of free bus passes

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Although it’s well known that disabled people can get a free bus pass, many people don’t know that their carers could qualify too. There are more than seven million carers in the UK who could be missing out on this benefit.

For those who don’t use public transport, but drive someone they are caring for instead, there could be other reductions available.

Poverty charity Turn2Us said: “If you have disabilities or are a carer you may be entitled to free or discounted travel on public transport.

“If you are a driver you may be entitled to an exemption from paying road tax, and to a blue badge which gives you parking concessions.”

Meanwhile, pensioners currently become eligible for their free bus pass when they reach the state pension age – currently 66-years old – in England.

However they only have to wait until they’re 60-years-old in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and parts of the UK such as London.

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In total – there are 10 groups of people who could qualify for a free bus pass:

  • A carer who looks after someone who is disabled
  • A person is blind or partially sighted, deaf or unable to speak
  • Someone can’t walk very far because of a disability, illness or injury
  • An individual doesn’t have arms or can’t use their arms
  • A person has a severe learning disability
  • Someone has been refused a driving licence because of their health (but not because of problems with drugs or alcohol)
  • Jobseekers who are on Universal Credit may be able to get half price bus and train travel
  • Under 18s if they live in Scotland
  • Over 60s in Scotland and Wales
  • In Northern Ireland over 60s qualify for free bus travel

Carers should go to or their local authority website to see if they can apply for a free bus pass.

It could save someone hundreds or thousands of pounds over a period of 12 months.

Underclaimed benefits is a big problem – nearly half a million Britons are estimated to be missing out on Carer’s Allowance which can be worth up to £3,515 a year.

Carer’s Allowance can be claimed by anyone who is looking after someone for 35 hours a week or more as long as their earnings are £128 or less a week after tax and National Insurance.

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To qualify the person they are caring for must be claiming one of the following benefits:

  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP) – the daily living component
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Disability Living Allowance – the middle or highest care rate
  • Child Disability Payment – the middle or highest care rate

To check people should go to

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