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.

Free Travel Pass Graph – 96% Yes; 4% No; 0% Not Sure

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).




Free Eye Tests Graph – 100% Yes

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?



Free Prescriptions Graph – 100% Yes 

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 :-).




Hospital Travel Allowance Graph – 0% Yes; 80% No; 20% Not Sure 

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.   

This entry was posted in Cheylesmore Good Neighbours and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. David Freeman says:

    Interesting,!!! Some of these benefits i am aware of? However not the hospital parking:except for a blue badge holder?

  2. hello dear reader: we appear to have had a deluge of information, each for us to digest, with respect to finances/help to understand how we as oldies can negotiate the complex picture of government benefits.
    While this may be difficult to understand, and achieve, I reflect and meditate on the many earlier blogs concerning older age living, mobility and loneliness: what is it we each individually wish out of life as a couple with partner/friend, or as a sole survivor of such a rewarding partnership, to enable one live in a caring, lively community, which one may find in a purpose built, multi social and culture retirement village.
    When one reflects on Johns’ blogs this aspect of older age living has been highlighted. To enjoy the benefits of such a life one has to consider what one wishes or does in later life when one is on the point of retirement from full time work, and ready to become a full time pensioner. From personal experience if one meets a man or organisation with a vision, and affordable, and one has the foresight to embrace that vision and live the dream, in reality, not in the ‘clouds’ with fellow residents?? then life is, and can be a wonderful but enjoyable experience. Remember what one puts in one generally gets out with lots of pleasure.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s