The eligibility criteria for a parking permit from the Blue Badge scheme have changed in line with recent changes to mobility allowances in the UK; Independent mobility consultant Helen Dolphin MBE explains all:
In the past, meeting the requirements to join the Motability Scheme and automatically qualifying for a Blue Badge went hand in hand. This was because to be eligible to join the Motability Scheme, for most customers, you needed to be in receipt of the Higher Rate Mobility Component of Disability Living Allowance (HRMC DLA) and if you received this benefit you were automatically entitled to qualify for a Blue Badge. This meant that every Motability Scheme customer could have a Blue Badge if they chose to apply.
However, this changed in 2013 when the government began moving people from DLA to the new Personal Independence Payment (PIP). The assessment for the mobility component of PIP measures people on two criteria. One tests their ability in “moving around”, and the other measures their understanding of “planning and following a journey”. In order to get an award of the mobility component of PIP you need to score 8 points for the standard rate and 12 points for the enhanced rate. To qualify for the Motability Scheme, you would need to be in receipt of PIP enhanced rate mobility. However, Blue Badge qualification is no longer purely on qualifying for the Enhanced Rate Mobility Component of PIP and is also different depending on where you live.
Currently you can qualify for a Blue Badge automatically if you live in England or Northern Ireland and have been awarded 8 points or more in the ‘moving around’ activity of Personal Independence Payment (PIP). This means that those who qualify for the PIP enhanced mobility rate because they have problems ‘planning and following a journey’, are not automatically entitled to a Blue Badge. Because of this change disabled people who may have had a Blue Badge for many years now no longer qualify automatically because they have moved from DLA to PIP. It also means that some Motability Scheme customers will now not have a Blue Badge. However, if you don’t qualify for PIP following reassessment you will be able to continue using your Blue Badge until it expires and then you can apply directly to your local authority.
The rules are also different if you in live in Scotland or Wales. Here you can automatically qualify for a Blue Badge if you have been awarded 8 points or more in the ‘moving around’ activity or 12 points in the ‘planning and following a journey’ activity of PIP.
However, 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 meter;
- 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).
For the current Blue badge qualification criteria visit the gov.uk website.
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