Blue badge scheme open to people with ‘hidden disabilities’


It’s the first time people with hidden disabilities will be able to apply for a blue badge parking permit

People with hidden disabilities like autism, dementia or anxiety can apply for a blue badge parking permit in England.

A blue badge permit means the user can park in designated disabled bays. This usually means that they can park closer to their destination.

Scotland and Wales have already introduced similar rules to include some non physical conditions, but the rules have not yet been changed in Northern Ireland.

The guidance was issued by the Department for Transport (DfT), a branch of the government and begins on the 30th August. Local councils will still have the final say on who does and who doesn’t qualify for a blue badge.


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2 comments on “Blue badge scheme open to people with ‘hidden disabilities’
  1. Paul D says:

    Sounds good on the surface but, looking at my local council they are using PIP or DLA awards as qualifying criteria and are using ‘walking’ difficulties as the main justification (ie. not necessarily parking related!). By requiring PIP or DLA as proof, this means who has not been assessed, or who prior to 18/1/18 was denied the mobility component for reasons of distress and anxiety due to the govt statutory instrument – a ruling that was overturned by the high courts due to it being discriminatory against people with hidden disabilities (see https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/jan/19/esther-mcvey-makes-disability-benefits-u-turn-over-payments), might find it impossible to get through the red tape required obtain a blue badge, even if they need one.

  2. Paul D says:

    After further conversations with the local council, it would appear that they may not rely soley on benefit awards to make their decision. I am not convinced, but wanted to update my previous post incase it is inaccurate or discouraging. I will let Axia know the outcome of my application for a blue badge in August.

    Benefits and Work Publishing wrote in their newsletter:

    New guidance has now been issued to local authorities on extending the blue badge scheme to people with hidden disabilities such as dementia, autism and severe anxiety. Changes in the regulations will mean automatic eligibility for any claimant who scores 10 points in relation to the “planning and following journeys” activity on the grounds that they cannot undertake any journey because it would cause them overwhelming psychological distress. But many other people with mental health conditions may also be eligible when the new rules come into force on 30 August.

    Jane Harris, Director of External Affairs at the National Autistic Society, said:
    “The changes will make a huge difference to thousands of autistic people and their families across England – helping them to go out in the way many others take for granted. Just leaving the house is incredibly difficult for many autistic people – and involves detailed preparation. Some autistic people have no concept of the dangers of the road while others are so anxious about plans going wrong, like not being able to find a parking space, that they don’t go out at all. Having a Blue Badge will be life-changing and help many to reduce loneliness and isolation.”

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