The blue badge scheme is an international arrangement for people with severe walking difficulties, who travel either as drivers or passengers.
The scheme also applies to people who are registered blind and people with very severe upper limb disabilities who regularly drive a vehicle but cannot turn a steering wheel by hand. The scheme is intended to allow badge holders to park close to their destination.
Who can get a blue badge?
You are automatically entitled to a blue badge if you are in receipt of one of the following:
- Receipt of the Higher Rate Mobility Component of the Disability Living Allowance
- Receipt of a War Pensioner's Mobility Supplement (WMPS)
- A Government Car Grant (use a vehicle supplied by a Government Department or receive a Government Grant towards a vehicle)
- Registered blind under the National Assistance Act 1948
You will be asked to provide a letter of confirmation provided by the Benefits Agency as evidence to accompany your application. A Certificate of Vision Impairment signed by a Consultant Ophthalmologist will be required as evidence for those who are registered blind.
If one of the criteria set out above is not met but a badge is still required, you may be entitled to a blue badge if you are able to provide evidence of one of the following: -
- A permanent and substantial disability so the applicant is unable to walk or have considerable difficulty walking.
- A severe disability in both upper limbs, though regularly drive a motor vehicle but cannot turn the steering wheel of a motor vehicle by hand even if the wheel is fitted with a turning knob.
In both circumstances, we will write to your GP to confirm this. You will be asked to provide details of your GP as part of your application.
From 1 April 2012, in addition to the above criteria and at the discretion of the council, the Disabled Persons (Badges for Motor Vehicles) (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2011 have extended eligibility for the blue badges to: -
- Severely injured armed forces personnel if they receive a guaranteed payment under tariffs 1 – 8 of the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) and have been certified as having a permanent and substantial disability that causes an inability to walk or very considerable difficulty in walking.
The service Personnel and Veterans Agency (SPVA) will issue a letter to applicants meeting the above criteria, which will need to be submitted as evidence with the blue badge application.
- Children under three years of age who, due to a specific medical condition needs to travel with bulky medical equipment or be close to a vehicle for emergency medical treatment. These badges will expire on the day after the child's third birthday.
A parent or guardian must apply on behalf of the child and provide supporting letters from health consultants or social services. The badge will be issued if the medical equipment is always needed and cannot be easily carried.
- People who regularly drive a non adapted vehicle but are unable to operate or have difficulty in operating parking meters or pay and display equipment because of severe impairments in both arms (for example, those with thalidomide-related disabilities)
These regulations place the onus on the applicant to evidence that they meet the eligibility criteria.
Disabilities that do not make a person eligible
You will not qualify for the provision of a blue badge if: -
- You have a temporary disability, for example fractured limb or awaiting corrective surgery such as major joint replacements as there is an expectation that mobility will improve following this.
- Intermittent illness/disability
- Psychological disorders will not usually qualify unless their impairment causes considerable and permanent difficulties in walking.
Applying for a blue badge
You can apply for a blue badge in one of the following ways:
- Apply online with GOV.UK
If necessary residents can phone the council for assistance on freephone 0808 1002500.
If you appy online you will receive a standard email advising you to send proof of address and proof of identify to the council so that your application can be processed. However, please do not send any documentation containing personal information via the post as the council cannot accept liability for items that may be lost or damaged. Upon receipt of your application, the the council will send you a separate email containing instructions on how to provide proof of address and proof of identity by attending one of our Customer First Centres.
- Call ASDIT on freephone 0808 1002500
Receiving the blue badge
Whether you apply online, by telephone or in person, before your application can be approved you will need to take the following items along to your nearest Customer Services Centre so that they can verify your identity: -
- A recent passport sized photograph (This won't be necessary if you have applied online with Directgov because you are required to upload a photo as part of the application)
- Proof of identity. You must provide one of the following forms of identification, which must be the original:
- Birth or adoption certificate
- Certificate of British Nationality
- Civil partnership/dissolution certificate
- HM Forces ID card
- Identity card for foreign nationals
- Marriage/divorce certificate
- Current passport
- Valid driving licence
- Proof of address. You must provide one of the follow as proof of address, which must be the original:
- Award letter from Service Personnel and Veterans Agency (SPVA)
- Benefit award letter from DWP
- Confirmation letter from social services
- Confirmation letter from school
- Council tax bill dated within last 12 months
- Housing benefit award letter
- Pensions letter
- Valid driving licence
Your blue badge cannot be processed until you have done this.
Please do not send any documentation containing personal information via the post as the council cannot accept liability for items that may be lost or damaged.
From 1 April 2012 the council will no longer be able to produce the blue badges at Customer Services. Instead, badges will be produced through a national contract and will be posted to your home address. This will take approximately 7-10 days following verification of your identity by Customer First.
If you are not happy with the decision
If your application for a blue badge is refused, there is no right to appeal.
However, if you feel that the council have not considered all of the relevant factors, you need to contact the Customer Services Team on 0800 3284061 or text phone on 01443 864537.