Applying for a disabled person's bus pass

Applying for a disabled person's bus pass


Who is eligible for a disabled person's bus pass?

The disabled person’s pass is for people of fare paying age (5 and over). Who live in England with a qualifying disability. The bus pass allows free off-peak travel on local buses throughout England.

Any disability should have a substantial effect on your ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities and must:

  • be permanent, or
  • have lasted at least 12 months, or
  • be likely to last at least 12 months, or
  • be likely to recur

A qualifying disability would be if you:

  • are blind or partially sighted (Category A)
  • are profoundly or severely deaf (Category B)
  • are without speech (Category C)
  • have a substantial walking disability (Category D)
  • don’t have arms or have long-term loss of the use of both arms (Category E)
  • have a learning disability, including a significant impairment of intelligence and social functioning (Category F)
  • were refused a driving licence or are unable to drive due to medical reasons (Category G)

Please note that mental health applications will be assessed under the final category G unable to drive.

Read each category and the guidance carefully before applying.


What do I need to apply?

To apply you will need the following:

  • proof of your disability
  • proof of your address
  • a photograph of you.

If you are sending these documents please only send photocopies. East Sussex County Council cannot accept any responsibility for items that are mislaid in the post. No documentation will be returned.

Proof of your disability

For a list of acceptable documents see the relevant section of this guide for the category that you intend to apply under.

Proof of your address in East Sussex

  • a valid current driving licence (photocard only)
  • a letter from Department of Work and Pensions (no more than 3 months old)
  • a recent bank or credit card statement (no more than 3 months old)
  • your current council tax bill
  • a recent utility bill (no more than 3 months old).

If your main home is not in East Sussex, you should apply for a bus pass to the local authority where you usually live.

Photograph

You will need one passport style/sized colour photograph of your head and shoulders with a single coloured background.

Head wear, unless specified for religious or medical purposes, and tinted glasses are not to be worn.


Blind or partially sighted (Category A)

You will be eligible if

  • you are registered, or entitled to be registered, as blind or severely sight impaired, or
  • you are registered, or entitled to be registered, as partially sighted or sight impaired.

Full guidance and evidence form

Blind or partially sighted guidance and evidence form (Category A) [259.6 KB] [pdf]


Profoundly or severely deaf (Category B)

You will be eligible if

  • your hearing loss is severe or profound, i.e. greater than 70 dBHL, in both ears

Full guidance and evidence form

Profoundly or severely deaf guidance and evidence form (Category B) [203.0 KB] [pdf]


Without speech (Category C)

You will be eligible if

  • you are unable to communicate orally in any language

Full guidance and evidence form

Without speech guidance and evidence form (Category C) [202.1 KB] [pdf]


Walking disability (Category D)

You will be eligible if

  • you are unable to walk at all.
  • you can only get about by swinging through crutches (long term).
  • you are unable to walk more than 64 metres without severe discomfort.
  • it takes an excessive amount of time to walk a short distance. For example it takes 5 minutes to walk 100 metres.
  • the exertion required to walk would either
    • constitute a danger to your life
    • or would be likely to lead to serious deterioration in your health.

This must be a substantial disability that means the applicant cannot walk or which makes walking very difficult.

Full guidance and evidence form

Walking disability guidance and evidence form (Category D) [290.7 KB] [pdf]


Does not have arms or has long term loss of the use of both arms (Category E)

You will be eligible if

  • you have both arms but are unable to use them to carry out day to day tasks.
  • you have a limb reduction deficiency of both arms.
  • you have a bilateral upper limb amputation.
  • you have a medical condition (muscular dystrophy, spinal cord injury, motor neurone disease or condition of comparable severity) which affects the use of your arms.

Full guidance and evidence form

Does not have arms or has long term loss of the use of both arms guidance and evidence form (Category E) [202.1 KB] [pdf]


Learning disability (Category F)

Applications can be considered if you have a learning disability, this may also be referred to as an intellectual disability.

The Transport Act 2000 defines a learning disability as:

  • A state of arrested or incomplete development of mind
  • which includes a significant impairment of:
    • intelligence
    • and social functioning.

You will be eligible if you have both:

  • a significant impairment of intelligence. An example would be an IQ of less than 70 or very low cognitive assessment scores.
  • and a significant impairment of social functioning.

A formal learning/intellectual disability diagnosis will have the code F70, F71, F72 or F73 on medical reports.

You may not be eligible under this category:

  • if you have dyslexia, dyspraxia or attention deficit
    hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • if your intelligence is not impaired (i.e. your IQ is
    more than 70), even if your disability affects your
    social functioning
  • if you are applying because of mental health
    problems
  • if your condition started after you became an adult
    (e.g. brain injury)
  • if you hold a driving licence
  • if you don’t have a learning disability as defined, you are over 16 and you cannot drive due to your specific needs. Please consider an application under Category G instead.

Please also see our full guidance below before applying.

Full guidance and evidence form

Learning disability guidance and evidence form (Category F) [292.1 KB] [pdf]


Refusal of driving licence/unable to drive due to medical reasons (Category G)

If you are over 16 applications can be made if you are unable to drive for medical reasons.

You may be eligible if you have:

  • epilepsy which is not under control
  • a severe mental disorder
  • a learning disability not covered by category F
  • diabetes where you have hypos
  • a visual impairment not covered by category A

You should not apply if you:

  • currently hold a full or provisional driving licence
  • cannot hold a licence due to the persistent misuse of drugs and/or alcohol.

Records may be shared with the DVLA for the purpose of fraud prevention.

Full guidance and evidence form

Refusal of driving licence/unable to drive due to medical reasons guidance and evidence form (Category G) [379.2 KB] [pdf]


Companion bus pass

If you are disabled and need help to travel, you can apply for a companion pass. The pass has a C+ in the top right corner. allows someone to travel with you free of charge. For full details on the use of this pass see Using a companion pass.

How to apply for a companion C+ bus pass

You will need to tick to confirm you are applying for a companion on the form. Then provide proof which can be:

  • Proof that you are registered, or entitled to be registered, as blind or severely sight impaired
  • A DLA showing middle or higher rate care

  • A PIP award with:
    • 12 points for the "Moving around activity"
    • 10 points or more for the “Planning and following a journey” activity
    • Higher point scores for daily living activities such as
      • “Communicating verbally”
      • “Reading and understanding signs, symbols and words”
      • “Engaging with other people face to face”
  • A specialist’s opinion from someone independent who understands your medical condition. The proof must indicate why you need a companion on transport for example:
    • Physical Assistance on to or off the bus
    • 24/7 attendance due to your condition
    • Assistance in planning or managing the journey
    • Assistance in identifying the correct bus

If you are applying online please tell us you would like a companion bus pass. You can do this by:

  • telling us on the proof you provide
  • by emailing us after you have applied

We will not automatically issue a companion bus pass unless requested.

Please note that all our disability specific evidence forms allow a professional to confirm the need for a companion.


Prove you are eligible and apply

Alternatively you can:

Postal applications should be sent to East Sussex Bus Pass, PO Box 212, Waterlooville, PO7 6ZN.

Guidance and evidence forms

Please download the appropriate guidance. All guidance includes an evidence form for the category of disability, these are not application forms but should be used to provide evidence where necessary.

Please call our information centre to ask for a copy to be posted. 0300 33 09 471 (local rate – lines are open Monday to Friday 9 am to 4 pm).

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