Sadiq Khan quizzed by pensioner on future of free bus passes
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Britons can receive a free bus pass when they reach state pension age. State pension age in the UK is currently 66, however this may rise in the future.
There are Government proposals to increase the state pension age, which means people will be waiting longer for free bus passes.
As a result, now more than ever could be the time to check if there are other ways to secure this freebie benefit.
Various other groups are also entitled to a free bus pass but are unaware they could claim the benefit.
People who have a disability, illness or injury which means they cannot walk long distances, are eligible for the free pass.
A disabled person’s bus pass is available to those who meet certain qualifying criteria set out by the Government.
Furthermore, those who are diagnosed as blind, partially sighted, deaf or unable to speak are eligible for this concession.
Additionally, someone who is unable to use their arms, or does not have arms, can get a free bus pass.
Britons who are diagnosed with a learning disability will also be eligible for this travel discount.
Universal Credit claimants are not entitled to a free bus pass but can claim a 50 percent discount on their expenses if they are looking for work.
People who have been refused a driving licence due to ill health may also have concessions on their travel.
Other countries have different eligibility rules when it comes to handing out free bus passes.
Notably, the freebie benefit is accessible to all over 60s living in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Under 22s living in Scotland are now able to claim a free bus pass by getting a new National Entitlement Card (NEC) or Young Scot NEC.
As a result of this, 2.3 million people living in Scotland are now eligible for this travel discount.
As the cost of living crisis continues, any savings could be vital for those people struggling to keep up with bills.
It is worth checking what discounts one may be eligible for.
Charities such as Age UK actively promote the ways people can find out whether they are entitled to a free bus pass, whether it be through having a disability or being of state pension age
The organisation stated: “There’s no central provider of the disabled person’s bus pass. So, to find out if you’re eligible and where to apply, get in touch with your local council. It can also be worth contacting individual transport operators to see if they offer discounts.
“For example, National Express offers Coachcards to older or disabled customers, which cost £12.50 and save you a third on your travel across the year.”
Around £15billion of benefits goes unclaimed each year by people who are eligible for them but not receiving them. Some households aren’t claiming support that could be worth thousands of pounds each year to them.
Many benefits and discounts aren’t granted automatically; depending on what you’re eligible for, you’ll need to apply to your local council or HMRC.
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