If you have problems with walking (or other mobility problems), you might be able to get a ‘Blue Badge,’ which will allow you to park your car nearer to places you wish to visit.
Anyone who is not automatically eligible under the mobility criteria will have to apply under “further assessment” They will need to provide information such as medical conditions, current medication, and an explanation of how mobility is affected and provide any medical documents that can support the application.
This will be assessed by the Blue Badge team on an individual applicant’s basis following the guidelines set out by the government.
The government is currently looking into adding more eligibility criteria to the current guidelines to support people with “hidden disabilities” as the current guidelines do not cover conditions such as autism, learning disabilities and dementia to enable councils to award badges for these situations. However these have not come into effect yet and are still being debated by the government.
Currently Northamptonshire advises people to apply for a Blue Badge if they feel this would improve their situation but applications cannot always be guaranteed if the mobility element is not met. Providing as much information as possible, explaining the safety concerns, including hospital and doctors letters and any supporting letters from professional’s will always strengthen the application to reach the current criteria.
You automatically qualify for a Blue Badge if you’re aged two years (or older) and one of the following applies:
- You are registered as blind (severely sight impaired).
- You have either a Certificate of Vision Impairment (CVI) or a BD8 form, signed by a consultant ophthalmologist, stating that you are severely sight impaired (blind), and you wish to be registered as severely sight impaired (blind) with your local authority.
- You receive the Higher Rate of the Mobility Component of the Disability Living Allowance (DLA).
- You receive a Personal Independence Payment (PIP), and you meet a 'Moving Around' descriptor for the Mobility Component because you either cannot stand, or can stand but walk no more than 50 metres. This is a score of 8 points or more.
- You receive a War Pensioners' Mobility Supplement.
- You receive a tariff within 1-8 (inclusive) of the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme and have been assessed as having a permanent and substantial disability that causes inability to walk (or very considerable difficulty in walking).
In England, you might also qualify for a Blue Badge by being assessed by your local authority. You must be aged two years (or older) and one of the following must apply:
- You have a permanent and substantial disability which means that you are unable to walk.
- You have a permanent and substantial disability which means that you have very considerable difficulty in walking.
- You drive a vehicle regularly, and have a severe disability in both arms that means you are unable to operate all (or some types of) parking meter.
- You drive a vehicle regularly, and have a severe disability in both arms that means you have considerable difficulty operating all (or some types of) parking meter.
There are also special rules if you’re applying on behalf of a child under the age of three. You can get a Blue Badge if your child has a medical condition which means:
- Either: they must always be accompanied by bulky medical equipment,
- Or: they need to be kept near a vehicle in case they need emergency medical treatment
Applications are processed by local authorities. In England, you might be charged a statutory maximum admin fee of £10. The badge lasts up to three years. The LA doesn't send out reminders when they are due to expire.
Blue Badges need to be renewed every three years. You should apply to renew your badge 8 weeks before it is due to expire. You will not be sent a reminder to do this.