Free bus pass: State pensioners eligible for benefit – who else is able to claim support?

Eligibility for this concession is aligned with the state pension age in England, which is currently 66. In the next few years, the retirement age is set to be raised to 67 which means people will have to wait longer for it. As a result of this, various groups will be trying to see if they are entitled to a free bus pass through other means.

This is because there are various other groups which are entitled to this support outside of state pensioners.

Examples of eligible groups include those who cannot walk long distances due to a disability, injury or illness and people diagnosed as blind, partially sighted, deaf or unable to speak.

On top of this, anyone who does not have arms or is unable to use their arms is entitled to free bus travel.

Furthermore, if someone is diagnosed as having a learning disability which is considered severe they can also get the discount.

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While not entirely free, Universal Credit claimants may be able get 50 percent off their travel while looking for work.

People who have been refused a driving licence due to poor health could also be eligible for travel discounts.

It should be noted that rules regarding the older person’s bus pass differ depending on which country in the UK someone lives in.

For example, while the benefit is linked to the state pension age in England, it is made available to over 60s in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.


Recently, the Scottish Government launched a new scheme to have under 22s in the country get free bus travel.

The discount is accessible to children and young people with a new National Entitlement Card (NEC) or Young Scot NEC.

Due to this, over 2.3 million people in Scotland alone are now eligible for discounted or free bus travel.

Addressing the concessions which are available for those who are disabled, Age UK outlined the other discounts which are available to people.

On this issue, the charity 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.”

For those who live in London, the charity outlined how the Freedom Pass scheme also acts for many as a free bus pass, as well as other concessions on other public transport options.

Age UK added: “Freedom Passes give London residents free travel in the city – including trams, National Rail services, the Underground, river services and buses – and free local bus journeys nationally.

“If you live in London, you can apply for a Freedom Pass if you’ve reached state pension age or have a disability.

“If you’re over 60 but under state pension age and you live in London, you can get a special Oyster card for free travel in the city.”