Qualifying for a Blue Badge with Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
People who automatically qualify for a badge
A person is automatically eligible for a badge if they are over two years old and meet at least one of the following criteria: a receives the Higher Rate of the Mobility Component of the Disability Living Allowance; b receives a Personal Independence Payment for being unable to walk further than 50 metres (a score of 8 points or more under the ‘moving around’ activity of the mobility component); c is registered blind (severely sight impaired); d receives a War Pensioner’s Mobility Supplement; or e has received a lump sum benefit within tariff levels 1-8 of the Armed Forces and Reserve Forces (Compensation) Scheme and has been certified as having a permanent and substantial disability which causes inability to walk or very considerable difficulty in walking.
If you are applying for a badge under any of these criteria, you will automatically qualify, provided you have the right documentation to support your application and can provide proof of your identity and proof that you are a resident in the local authority in which you are applying.
People who may also qualify for a badge
Some people may also be eligible for a badge if they are more than two years old and have a permanent and substantial disability, which causes inability to walk or very considerable difficulty in walking.
If you are applying for a badge under this criterion, you will need to show that you have a permanent and substantial disability, which means:
• You are unable to walk: or
• You are unable to walk very far without experiencing very considerable difficulty. This may include excessive pain and breathlessness, or a deterioration of health brought on by the effort needed to walk. A permanent and substantial disability is one that is likely to last for all of your life. Eligibility is not determined on the basis.
Do you have very considerable difficulty in walking?
It is the effect of the permanent disability on your ability to walk that is important. Medical conditions such as asthma, autism, psychological/ behavioural problems, Crohn’s disease/incontinent conditions and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (M.E.) are not in themselves a qualification for a badge. People with these conditions may be eligible for a badge under this criterion, but only if they are unable to walk or have very considerable difficulty in walking, in addition to their condition. Your local authority is responsible for deciding whether you are eligible and may ask you to undergo a mobility assessment with a medical professional such as a physiotherapist or occupational therapist.
Does losing my PIP mean I will lose my Blue Badge
If you lose your DLA in a PIP reassessment it does not mean categorically that you will not be able to qualify for a Blue Badge. It just means you will no longer qualify automatically and so you will need to need to apply through the assessed route. You may qualify for a Blue Badge by being assessed by your local authority if you are aged two or over and one of the following applies:
You have a permanent and substantial disability which causes inability to walk or very considerable difficulty in walking;
You drive regularly, have a severe disability in both arms and are unable to operate, or have severe difficulty operating, all or some types of parking metre;
You live in Scotland or Wales and you are unable to walk or virtually unable to walk because of a temporary but substantial disability which is likely to last for at least 12 months but less than three years;
You live in Scotland, have a mental disorder (within the meaning of section 328 of the Mental Health (care & treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003) and you are considered to lack awareness of danger from traffic which is likely to compromise your safety or that or others during journeys. You must be getting one of the following – Middle or Highest Rate Care Component of DLA, Attendance Allowance or PIP (having been assessed as having limited/severely limited ability to carry out daily living activities).
©A1 ESA/DLA/PIP Benefits Help and Support (UK only)
News on Blue Badges for hidden disability welcomed
The Department of Transport has advised that new regulations for the Blue Badge scheme will be laid before Parliament in April 2019. The regulations will make it possible for people with hidden disabilities to be eligible for a Blue Badge to help them overcome issues around travelling.
In the meantime new guidance for local authorities is being prepared. Local authorities are responsible for administering the scheme and issuing badges.
Dr Clare Mills, Public Affairs Manager for Headway, said: “We are pleased to hear that the plans to extend the scheme are being put into effect and that people with hidden disabilities, including acquired brain injury, will be included in the Blue Badge scheme from spring 2019.
“Once legislation is in place, we’ll be asking brain injury survivors, their families and carers to let us know if they still experience problems in obtaining a Blue Badge. But hopefully this will be a seamless transition.”
The complexities of brain injury can make it difficult for people to communicate or ask for help. Carrying an official Headway Brain Injury Identity Card can provide survivors with the confidence to know that if they need help, their needs can be easily identified, whether in social situations, or if they come into contact with police officers or other emergency services workers. The card is available to anyone in the UK aged 18 and over who has a verifiable brain injury.