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:

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

Read each category and the guidance carefully before applying and check the What do I need to apply? for proof required.


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.

You may ask another medical professional to complete the evidence forms we provide. If you use the NHS please note they are not obliged to provide this service and you may be
charged for their time. We do not deal directly with any NHS staff and we cannot contact them on your behalf

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.

Proving that you are eligible

You can do this by providing a copy of one of the following:

  • A current East Sussex Blue Badge which is valid for at least 6 months. The bus pass will only be valid for the term of the Blue Badge.
  • A certificate of visual impairment (CVI) which confirms you are severely sight impaired (blind) or sight impaired (partially sighted). 
  • A signed letter or form from a consultant ophthalmologist, that you qualify to be registered as severely sight impaired (blind) or sight impaired (partially sighted). 

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

Proving that you are eligible

You can do this by providing one of the following:

  • Letter/form from audiologist or audiological report/audiogram which demonstrate that you have hearing loss of more 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

Proving that you are eligible

You can do this by providing one of the following:

  • Evidence that you have been awarded 8 or more points for the ‘Communicating Verbally’ activity of Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
  • A letter from social services, or another appropriate organisation providing support services, explaining that you are unable to communicate orally in any language.
  • An Education, Health and Care Plan confirming you are unable to communicate orally in any language.
  • Documents which demonstrate that you are without speech. These may include letters from your consultant or GP which you may already have in your possession.

Full guidance and evidence form

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


Substantial walking disability (Category D)

Proving you are eligible

You will be eligible if your disability has substantial and long term adverse effect on ability to walk for example:

  • 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.

Evidence we can accept

  • A current East Sussex blue badge which is valid for at least 6 months.
  • Recent (less than 1 year old) PIP, with an award of eight points or more for the "Moving around” activity.
  • Recent (less than 1 year old) DLA letter - must show Mobility Component at the Higher rate.
  • For a veteran, proof of receiving War Pensioners Mobility Supplement, or the ‘Reasons for Decision’ letter under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS).

Other evidence we may accept

If you cannot provide any of the above proof you may ask a health care professional who is aware of your physical therapy (for example a physiotherapist or occupational therapist) to complete an evidence form Walking disability guidance and evidence form (Category D) [290.7 KB] [pdf]

Even if this form is completed it is likely we will need to refer you to an East Sussex County Council mobility assessor for a full mobility assessment.

Please do not ask a health care professional to write a letter, unless it is to support the form, they must be able to complete the evidence form in full.

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.

Proving you are eligible

  • Medical documents or statements which demonstrate that you have lost the use of your arms over the long term (12 months or more). These may include letters from your physiotherapist, consultant or GP which you may already have in your possession.

Any document provided as evidence should describe your disability so that it is possible to see whether any of criteria above apply to you. It should also say whether your disability is permanent or temporary and, if temporary, it should state the expected duration.

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 now 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.

Proving you are eligible

Detailed information which confirms the applicant has:

  1. a significant impairment of intelligence i.e. IQ less than 70 or very low cognitive scores

  2. a significant impairment of social functioning.

Evidence we can accept

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

Other evidence we may accept 

  •  a fully completed Category F evidence form
  • an Education, Health and Care Plan or Educational Psychologist report that indicates complex intellectual and social needs.  For an EHCP to be assessed it should show a diagnosis of:
    • mild, moderate, severe or profound intellectual disability (this is not the same a mild/moderate learning difficulty)
    • or a severe learning difficulty
    • and a significant impairment of social functioning.
  • an Adult Social Care Support Plan showing learning disability team involvement or a detailed letter from a learning disability team.

Any document provided as evidence should fully describe your disability so
that it is possible to see whether the criteria apply to you. 

Applications with this evidence may still be referred for a further assessment if required.

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

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.

Proving you are eligible

You need to show that one of the following applies:

1. Your driving licence has been revoked on medical grounds.
2. You have been refused a driving licence on medical grounds.
3. You would be ineligible for a driving licence on medical grounds.

IMPORTANT - Any evidence you provide should be dated within the last 12 months

Evidence we can accept

IMPORTANT - Other medical letters may not be accepted so please always use the Category G evidence form for submitting medical evidence.

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 addition

East Sussex County Council residents can also apply for a companion bus pass addition to their disabled person's bus pass, this pass has an added C+ in the top right corner.  This pass allows someone to travel with you free of charge. 

Please note this is a discretionary addition to the scheme for East Sussex County Council residents.

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 be eligible for a disabled person's bus pass to apply for the companion C+ to be added to your bus pass. 

Accepted proof for a companion bus pass is listed below, this may also be proof you will be providing for your disability:

  • 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 higher rate Attendance Allowance
  • 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

We do not normally issue a companion bus pass automatically when applying for your disabled person's bus pass. To request one:

  • There is a tick box on our paper application forms to indicate you are applying for one.
  • If you are applying online and your evidence doesn't state you need a companion please attach a separate letter or evidence form that requests one. You can also email Concessionary Travel to request one after you have applied.
  • All our evidence forms do 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 contact us to ask for forms to be posted:

Phone: 0300 33 09 471 (local rate).
Lines are open Monday to Friday 9 am to 4 pm
Email: Concessionary Travel (please provide any details like date of birth or address that may help us respond).

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