Welcome Changes to the Blue Badge Eligibility Criteria

joannemoores Jul 1st, 2019

The Blue Badge regulations will be amended from 30th August 2019, in England, for those with a hidden disability which limits their ability to walk safely.

Blue Badge holders are able to park closer to their destination, either as the driver or passenger, in disabled parking bays, usually for free on streets with parking meters or pay-and-display machines, and on single or double yellow lines for up to 3 hours in certain circumstances.

The eligibility criteria for a Blue Badge has been extended beyond those with a physical disability to now include those who:

  • Cannot undertake a journey without there being a risk of serious harm to their health or safety or that of any other person;
  • Cannot undertake a journey without it causing them very considerable psychological distress;
  • Have very considerable difficulty when walking (both the physical act and experience of walking); and
  • Scored 10 points under the 'planning and following journeys' activity of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) by virtue of being unable to undertake any journey because it would cause overwhelming psychological distress to them. This will lead to automatic entitlement in much the same way as scoring 8 points under the ‘moving around’ activity of PIP which is already in place.

The regulations also amend the current requirement that the disability be 'permanent and substantial', changing it to 'enduring and substantial'.

Those who do not meet the automatic eligibility criteria linked to PIP awards, can still apply and go through the standard assessment process. Under the new regulations, ‘expert assessors’ with specialist experience of non-physical impairments, can be appointed by the local authority to undertake the assessment to determine eligibility.