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Another Railcard to Consider if you wear hearing aids

I recently had our bus driver on a RS tour (Thanks Dave) tell me about a railcard option for individuals that wear hearing aids that is available from National Rail. Wearing hearing aids is one of the eligibility criteria for the National Rail Disabled Persons Railcard. This railcard costs 20 pounds per year, allows travel without time of day restrictions and gives 1/3 off to the person with the railcard and one adult that is accompanying that person. If you have a registered Oyster Card, it can also be linked to it for further discounts on the tube.

This railcard can be purchased online. You do need to upload proof that you wear hearing aids. I uploaded my hearing test and receipt for the hearing aids and it was accepted. You also upload a simple picture of yourself which can be a selfie of your head similar to what one might see on a passport.

We hear a lot about the senior railcard or the two together railcard on this forum, but I don't recall hearing about this option before. That is probably because it is quite specific, but it seems to me that I know more and more people who are wearing hearing aids. Hmm, does that mean I am getting older :)

Posted by
6803 posts

Carol, thanks! This is a great tip! I will definitely be doing this before my trip there next year. Now I just have to dig out the receipts and medical stuff. What a nice thing to do!

Posted by
6412 posts

You can also get it if you have epilepsy or have a visual impairment.

I wish they would use one of the modern neutral terms rather than Disabled Persons.

I know someone who gets the card due to epilepsy, but she wouldn't remotely consider herself to be disabled.
She also has a London freedom pass (only available to Londoners) for free travel at all times, for the same reason.

Posted by
545 posts

Whoa. I wear one hearing aid. I think of it just like wearing glasses. I wonder if one is enough for this? I had never thought of it as qualifying me for anything.

Posted by
6412 posts

Golden Girl,
It looks like you probably do qualify, looking at the website.
It won't hurt to check at your local station.

Posted by
6803 posts

I wish they would use one of the modern neutral terms rather than Disabled Persons.

Stuart, I definitely agree with that. As the grandparent of a child with severe special needs, I hate the term disabled. I don’t even like the term handicapped.

Posted by
25 posts

I was planning on purchasing the Two Together card. Now I will recalculate my train ticket costs:
GBP 60 vs GBP20 card;
1/2 vs 1/3 discount
Same person traveling together
No early travel restrictions
How does this impact an Explore Wales pass? And is there any impact on buses?

Posted by
5355 posts

I hate the term disabled. I don’t even like the term handicapped.

In Britain the term "handicapped" is one to avoid completely, at least by the Government in its communications. As is the disabled, rather than 'disabled people'.

Posted by
6412 posts

You get the same discount on Explore Wales as you would with any other Railcard. And it works the same way on the buses as with any other railcard.
So if you qualify then as far as I can see this is the better railcard, as you save £10 on the 2T card, or £40 on the two senior railcards.
Although the railcard itself has no restriction on the time of travel Explore Wales as a product does have the 9.30 restriction on the trains.

Posted by
25 posts

Before I started the purchase of this card, I looked through the FAQs. Based on this, it is only available for UK residents.
Q: "I don't live in Great Britain or receive UK disability benefits - can I apply for a Disabled Persons Railcard?
A:
Unfortunately we do not have the resources or expertise to be able to validate documentation from outside the United Kingdom (UK) so we can only accept UK-based documentation as proof of eligibility. ..."

Posted by
8503 posts

That is so strange. I used my US address, uploaded my information and had the railcard the next day. I am wondering if you are looking at a different FAQ then the requirements for this disability. At any rate, I believe there is no UK resident requirement for this.

Posted by
5355 posts

That is in the FAQ for the Disabled Person's Railcard. So you either got lucky or they are waiving this for qualification under such categories as hearing impairment where the proof is clear wherever you live, unlike say as a recipient of a non-UK disability benefit.

Posted by
6803 posts

Carol, just wanted to let you know I just received the download code for getting this discount and now have my Disabled Persons Railcard. Thank you again for letting me know!

For anyone who qualifies, it was very easy. You visit this site - https://secure.railcard.co.uk/purchase/disabled-persons - to start the application. During the process, they ask for medical documentation. I pulled up my hearing diagnosis from My Chart and uploaded it to the application, added all my other personal information, and a selfie, as Carol noted, and paid £20.

Once it's submitted, you receive an email that tells you to wait up to 5 business days while they review the application. I actually heard back in about 3 business days, and the email I received included a download code. At that point, you download the app--not the National Rail app, but one called simply "Railcard." Go to the app and key in the download code. You will immediately have your digital card with photo that is good for one year.

For those who said it is only for UK residents, I do not think that is true. I gave my US address and my US medical record and at no point was I told that I was disqualified because I was not a UK resident. I also read through the Terms and Conditions, and nowhere in there did it say that an applicant had to be a UK citizen.

Again, Carol, thanks so much!