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Concessions and other help

Blue badge scheme

The Blue Badge Scheme is designed to help disabled people who have severe mobility problems lead independent lives by allowing them to park near to a venue and have easier access to the services they want to use.

Concessionary bus pass

You may be able to get a concessionary bus pass if one of the following applies:

  • You are aged 60 or over


  • You are disabled or have a long-term health condition


  • You require a companion to assist with your travelling needs


  • You are aged 16 to 18 (or under 26 and in a full time volunteering post)


  • You are aged 5-21

Thistle Assistance Card

The Thistle Assistance Card is a personalised card to help people with disabilities communicate their needs while on public transport.   

CEA Card

The CEA Card enables a disabled cinema guest to receive a complimentary ticket for someone to go with them when they visit a participating cinema if they are getting certain benefits.

Vehicle Tax exemption

You can apply for exemption from paying vehicle tax if you get any of the following:

  • higher rate mobility component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
  • enhanced rate mobility component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • higher rate mobility component of Child Disability Payment (CDP)
  • enhanced rate mobility component of Adult Disability Payment (ADP)
  • War Pensioner's Mobility Supplement
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment.

The vehicle must be registered in the disabled person's name or their nominated driver's name. It must only be used for the disabled person's personal needs. It can't be used by the nominated driver for their own personal use.

Vehicle Tax reduction

You can get a 50% reduction in vehicle tax if you get the PIP or ADP standard rate mobility component. You can't get a reduction for getting the DLA lower rate mobility component.


Strong Start - Free early learning and childcare places for 2 year olds

Free early learning and childcare helps give children a great start to their education. It encourages them to learn through play with other children and promotes the development of language and social skills in a safe and fun environment. It also helps them to prepare for school. 

Your 2 year old may be eligible if you are receiving certain benefits or if your child is getting certain Social Work support.  

Free school meals

School meals are balanced, nutritious and tasty and provide the energy needed to help children learn, School meals are provided free to all P1 to P4 pupils without the need for parents/carers to submit an application.  Free school meals are also available from P5 upwards if you are getting certain benefits.  

School clothing grants

You may be entitled to a school clothing grant towards the cost of purchasing essential clothing to enable children up to the age of 16 to attend schools if you are receiving:

  • Income Support (IS)
  • Income based Job Seeker's Allowance (IBJSA)
  • Any income related element of Employment and Support Allowance
  • Child Tax Credit (CTC), but not Working Tax Credit, and your income is less than £16,105
  • Child Tax Credit (CTC) and Working Tax Credit (WTC) and your income is less than £7,500
  • If you are between 16 and 18 years old and receive any of these benefits in your own right, you can claim free school meals for yourself.
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Universal Credit where the monthly earned income does not exceed £625

Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA)

If your child stays on at school or education after their legal school leaving date, they may qualify for Education Maintenance Allowance of £30 per week to help them with the cost of education such as books, travel costs and other expenses.  They will qualify for this if your total taxable income for the year is £24,421 or less if you have one dependent child or £26,884 per year if you have more than one dependent child. 

Energy Advice

The Home Energy Advice Team offers free and impartial advice either over the telephone or through home visits to homeowners, local authority tenants, housing association tenants and private rented tenants. The in-home, in-depth home visits can help householders reduce their energy use, find the best supplier and tariff to suit their needs, and help them make the switch. Advisors from HEAT also offer an advocacy service to help those in fuel debt.

Help with health costs

You may be able to get help with health costs such as NHS dental treatment, travel to an NHS hospital or glasses if you are getting certain benefits, are in a certain group or if you are on a low income.

Help with legal costs

You may be able to get Legal Aid if you can't afford to pay your own legal costs.

Veterinary care

PDSA offers free and low cost veterinary care if you meet their eligibility criteria.

Last modified on 09 February 2023

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