Over the last few months, I have been researching welfare benefits entitlements in the UK. (You can see all my earlier posts by clicking on “Welfare Benefits” in the TAG CLOUD).
This is the fourth section which covers benefit freebies.
You only get this when you’re eligible for State Pension and you have to apply for it. Exactly where you can travel to depends on your Local Authority rules. Some Local Authorities allow for free travel beyond their area (e.g. West Midlands).
Perhaps not surprisingly, the take up for this is 100%. Obviously because your optician tells you in anticipation that they are going to sell you an expensive pair of glasses. I wonder how many people are sent away without needing glasses?
Again, everybody knows about this, presumably they are told at the doctor’s surgery. You have to be 60 years old and look like it :-).
This is means tested but if you qualify it should pay for your travel to and from the hospital as well as for car parking. Some people had received reimbursement for car parking fees but otherwise you are generally expected to travel free on public transport. This will not always be possible for people who either can’t get out of the house without assistance, or live in remote rural areas. In those cases they should be reimbursed either for a car travel allowance or a taxi. Hospitals seem to vary their approach on this and in some cases will also pay for carers.
Free TV Licence
This is available to people over the age of 75 and also to all pensioners if they live in sheltered housing. You have to apply for it. Responsibility for funding it has recently been transferred to the BBC which means the rules could change in future.
FOOTNOTE – Please note, I hasten to add that I am no expert and anyone reading this should not take my observations or figures as fact. Hopefully before I finish this series of blogs, I will have raised awareness of some of the issues in the welfare benefits system. If you’re intending to make a claim, you should go to one of the trusted agencies like Age UK or Citizens Advice Bureau.