Tuesday, 25th April 2017
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Carers and free travel

Question

I care full-time for a relative with a disability and I have applied for Carer’s Allowance. Although I am not yet aged 66 would I be entitled to a free travel pass, if I qualify for this allowance?

Answer

Everyone aged 66 and over living permanently in the State is entitled to the Free Travel Scheme. If you are under age 66 and registered for a Public Services Card, you will be awarded free travel with your Carer’s Allowance. You will be issued with a new Public Services Card which will also be your Free Travel Card. The card will have “F-T” printed in a yellow octagon in the top left-hand corner.

If you have not yet registered for the Public Services Card, you will be asked to register before your Free Travel Card issues to you.

The Public Services Card allows people to access a range of government services and payments and it will eventually replace the Free Travel Pass. In order to keep your entitlement to Free Travel, you must register for the Public Services Card when requested to do so by the Department of Social Protection. Your entitlement to Free Travel will be disallowed or withdrawn if you don't register.

You must show your Public Services Card to the travel operator when you are travelling on public transport. (In some cases you may be asked to scan your Public Services Card. However, not all transport operators have this facility.)

Note that people under 66 getting PRSI-based Carer’s Benefit are not entitled to a Free Travel Card.

If you are living with the person you care for, you may also be entitled to the Household Benefits Package, which includes an electricity or gas allowance as well as a free TV licence. Only one person in a household can qualify for the package at any time.

Further information is available from the Citizens Information Centre.

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