Pensioners to wait longer for free bus pass – who else is eligible?

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Residents in England are eligible for the free bus pass once they reach state pension age, which is currently 66. However, the state pension age threshold is set to rise in the coming years which means older people will have to wait longer for the benefit. Despite this, there are other ways for people to get this benefit outside of being a pensioner in England.

For both men and women across the UK, the state pension age is gradually increasing which means people will have to wait longer for their retirement benefits.

By 2028, the retirement age threshold is set to reach 67 under current Government proposals.

If someone qualifies for the state pension, they are also eligible for certain freebie benefits such as the free bus pass.

With over 60s having to wait longer for their retirement, this means they will not get these benefits until an even later date.

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Who else is eligible for a bus pass?

Outside of those who are of state pension age, other vulnerable groups are entitled to the freebie benefit.

This includes people who have a long-term disability, illness or injury which could qualify them for a disabled person’s bus pass.

Concessions on bus travel are also available for people who are diagnosed blind, partially sighted, deaf or unable to speak.

Those who do not have use of their arms or legs, or do not have arms or legs at all, can also get a free bus pass.

On the Citizens Advice website, guidance is offered to those with a disability who are looking to apply for a free bus pass.

The service stated: “You can apply for a disabled person’s bus pass or railcard if you have a condition that makes it hard to get around.

“You don’t need to have a physical health problem – people with learning disabilities can apply too.

“Someone else can apply on your behalf, if you need help with the application. You’ll be able to travel for free by bus, or get 30 percent off your train tickets. Your nearest Citizens Advice can help you with the application if you need it.”

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Age UK encourages over 60s to 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.”

It should be noted that eligibility for a free bus pass is different depending on where you live in the UK.

For example, young people in Scotland are eligible for discounted or free travel if they purchase a new National Entitlement Card (NEC).

This concession is available for all under 22s who are residents in Scotland.

Furthemore, over 60s in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are all eligible for the free bus pass and do not wait until they reach state pension age to get it.

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