Applying for a disabled person's bus pass

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

Please download our guidance document when applying

Blind or partially sighted guidance document (Category A)

How do I apply?

Prove you are eligible and apply

4. 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

Please download our guidance document when applying

Profoundly or severely deaf guidance document (Category B)

How do I apply?

Prove you are eligible and apply

5. Without speech (Category C)

You will be eligible if

  • you are unable to communicate orally in any language

Please download our guidance document when applying

Without speech guidance document (Category C)

How do I apply?

Prove you are eligible and apply

6. 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.

Please download our guidance document when applying

Walking disability guidance (Category D)

How do I apply?

Prove you are eligible and apply

7. 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.

Please download our guidance document when applying

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

How do I apply?

Prove you are eligible and apply

8. Learning disability (Category F)

Applications can be considered if you have a learning disability. This must include 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 (for example an IQ of less than 70)

AND

  • a significant impairment of social functioning.

You may not be eligible under this category:

  • If you hold a driving licence.
  • If you don’t have a learning disability as defined, but you cannot drive due to your specific needs. In this case please consider an application under Category G instead.

Please download our guidance document when applying

Learning disability guidance document (Category F)

How do I apply?

Prove you are eligible and apply

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

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.

Please download our guidance document when applying

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

How do I apply?

Prove you are eligible and apply

10. 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:

  • A specialist’s opinion from someone independent who understands your medical condition. This would be taken into consideration when the application is being assessed.
  • A DLA showing middle or higher rate care
  • A PIP award with:
    • 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”

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.

11. Prove you are eligible and apply

How do I apply?

Alternatively you can:

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

I would also like a guidance form where can I get these?

Please download the appropriate guidance. All guidance includes an evidence form for the category of disability:

  1. Blind or partially sighted (Category A) guidance and evidence form
  2. Profoundly or severely deaf (Category B) guidance and evidence form
  3. Without speech (Category C) guidance and evidence form
  4. Walking disability (Category D) guidance and evidence form
  5. Does not have arms or has long term loss of the use of both arms (Category E) guidance and evidence form
  6. Learning disability (Category F) guidance and evidence form
  7. Refusal of driving licence/unable to drive due to medical reasons (Category G) guidance and evidence form

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).