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Blue Badge Scheme

Blue Badges help drivers or passengers park close to their destination.  If you're disabled or have a health condition that affects your mobility, you can apply for a Blue Badge. You can also apply for a Badge if you care for a child with a health condition that affects their mobility. 

There are a number restrictions and requirements for using a Blue Badge including:

  • They are intended for on-street parking and Blue Badge holder car parks only.
  • Off-street car parks, such as those provided in local authority, hospital or supermarket car parks are governed by separate rules.
  • You must use Blue Badges properly.
  • They, and any concessions, are for your use only.
  • It is a criminal offence for you or anyone else to misuse the Badge, and doing so could lead to a £1,000 fine.
  • Making sure that the scheme is not abused will benefit genuine Badge holders, such as yourself.
  • If using the parking concessions as a passenger, it is your responsibility to ensure the driver is aware of the rules in the leaflet issued with your Badge.

Important: You can only get a Blue Badge from your local council or at GOV.UK. No one else can provide a genuine Blue Badge - if you think you’ve been scammed, you should report it.

You’re automatically eligible for a Blue Badge if you:

  • are registered as blind (severely sight impaired)
  • use a motor vehicle supplied for disabled people by a Government health department
  • get the higher rate of the mobility component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
  • get Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and scored 8 points or more in the ‘moving around’ area of your assessment - check your decision letter if you’re not sure
  • get War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement
  • received a lump sum payment as part of the Armed Forces Compensation scheme (tariffs 1 to 8), and have been certified as having a permanent and substantial disability

You might be eligible if:

  • you have problems walking that are permanent, or that your doctor says are likely to last at least a year
  • you can't use your arms
  • you're applying on behalf of a child aged over 2 who has problems walking, or a child under 3 who needs to be close to a vehicle because of a health condition

Organisations caring for disabled people meeting the above criteria may be able to get a badge, but this is entirely at our discretion. 

Changes to Blue Badge Legislation - 30th August 2019

People with hidden disabilities will soon be able to access Blue Badge parking permits.

For drivers or passengers with dementia, anxiety disorders or reduced mobility, the anticipation of travel difficulties such as finding a parking space can build on top of the stress of the journey itself.

The new guidance, which represents the biggest change to the scheme since the 1970s, will offer a lifeline to people who often find road travel difficult by providing better access to work and other amenities. It will also help combat loneliness by enabling them to stay connected to family and friends.

The expanded scheme coincides with the launch of a new task force to toughen up enforcement and help councils tackle fraudulent use of the badges.

The new scheme comes into effect from Friday 30th August 2019.

 

With effect from 30th August 2019, the government will be introducing new criteria for Blue Badge applications in England.

Due to the nature of non-visible (hidden) conditions, applications will be assessed by looking at an applicant's needs.

Having a certain condition or disability does not automatically entitle somebody to the Blue Badge concession.

To prepare for the new criteria, the Department for Transport (DfT) have conducted extensive research with an independent consultancy. This research include insights from a range of healthcare professionals that care for people with relevant conditions and disabilities, as well as local authorities that issue the badges.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

You would be automatically eligible under the new criteria if, in your PIP mobility assessment, you scored 10 points in the 'Planning and following a journey' assessment.

Specifically, the 10 points state:

'Cannot undertake any journey because it would cause overwhelming psychological distress to the claimant'

If the outcome from your PIP mobility assessment did not score in this way, you can still apply and your application will be processed as normal.

Please note that people who have 10 points for any other descriptor or a 12 points will not be automatically eligible, but may be eligible subject to further assessment.

Other Benefits

There is no automatic eligibility under the new criteria with any other benefits, including:

  • Disability Living allowance (DLA)
  • Attendance Allowance

As with PIP, if you receive one of these benefits you can still apply, and we will process your application as normal.

Applying under the new criteria

You should consider applying under the new criteria if you or the person you represent, has a non-visible (hidden) condition, which causes them to severely struggle with journeys between a vehicle and their destination, and either:

  • is a significant risk to themselves or others near vehicles, in traffic or car parks
  • severely struggles to plan or follow a journey
  • finds it difficult or impossible to control their actions, and lacks awareness of the impact they could have on others
  • regularly has intense and overwhelming responses to situations, causing temporary loss of behavioural control
  • frequently becomes extremely anxious or fearful of public/open spaces

If one or more of these statements are applicable to you or the person you represent, you can apply using the online service - www.gov.uk/apply-blue-badge

The Badge is for your use and benefit only. It must only be displayed if:

  • You are travelling in the vehicle as a driver or passenger
  • Someone is collecting you or dropping you off and needs to park at the place where you are being collected or dropped
  • Do not allow other people to use the Badge to do something on your behalf, such as shopping or collecting something for you, unless you are travelling with them.

Never give the Badge to friends or family to allow them to park for free, even if they are visiting you.

It is a criminal offence to misuse a Badge. This includes people other than the Badge holder taking advantage of the parking concessions provided under the scheme.

There are several ways in which you can apply for or renew your blue badge, you can ...

Apply Online

  • You can apply for your badge online on the GOV.UK web site

In our Wesley House Contact Centre

  • If you can't complete your application online yourself, and don't have anyone to help you apply, you can book an appointment in Wesley House with an advisor by calling 01744 676789 and choosing option 4. At your appointment our advisor will help you apply, and upload any documents you have brought along that support you application. There’s no need to bring a photo though, we will do that for you!

By Telephone

  • We can also help you apply by taking details over the telephone, howver you will still need to bring in / send in your supporting documents, so that we can proceed with your application -  call 01744 676789 and choose option 4 for more details.

Paper

  • In exceptional circumstances, we will provide/accept a paper application form. This will be on a request basis only – forms will no longer be sent out with our renewal reminders.

If you have any concerns or need further information, please call us on 01744 676789 and choose option 4

As well as completing the application form in full, by whatever method you choose, and to help us make our decision, it is important that you provide us with information that will support your application for example: 

Proof of your identity -

  • either a copy or the original of any of the following: passport/driving licence/birth certificate/adoption certificate/marriage certificate
     

Proof of your address -

  • either a copy or the original of any of the following: Council Tax bill - dated in the last 12 months DWP letter - dated within the last 12 months Pension Statement - dated within the last 12 months, alternatively, and with your consent, we can check your address by accessing your Council Tax/Electoral Roll record.
     

Evidence of your disability/medical condition

  • To help us make our decision it is important that you provide us with information that will support your application for example:
    GP/Consultant letters/Proof of hospital appointments
  • Prescriptions of medication 
  • Any other documentation that would assist with your application.

If you are applying under the 'automatic eligibility' criteria :

You will need to provide a current award letter to prove that you are currently receiving that benefit / allowance / pension ....

  • Proof of High Rate Mobility Component of Disability Living Allowance
  • War Pensions Mobility Supplement letter
  • Armed Forces Compensation letter (you must receive 1- 8 tariff to qualify)
  • Certificate of Vision Impairment (CVI or a BD8 Form) applicants must be severely sight impaired to qualify.
  • Personal Independent Payment (PIP) with either:

                                                - Enhanced rate

                                                - Score of 8 points or above in the ‘moving around’ activity of PIP 

If you are eligible under the automatic criteria, you will need to provide copies of the relevant benefit letters.

If you are not eligible under the automatic criteria and are applying under hidden disabilities, we will need a formal diagnosis letter or statement from a relevant consultant (or equivalent) and recent information describing the applicant in relation to the Blue Badge criteria.

If you do not supply this information, it may delay the processing of your application, and could lead to your application being rejected.

 

You will need to provide a photograph for any blue badge application, except where you are applying on behalf of an organisation.

If you apply online at Gov.UK, you can upload a digital photograph with your online application.

You can go to a photo booth and have passport style pictures taken.

You can use our mobile app or;

You can come in to Wesley House Contct Centre reception, where we will take your picture for you!

A recent photograph is required by the DfT for the processing of badges.

Rules for digital photos

The quality of your digital photo
Your photo must be:

  • clear and in focus
  • in colour
  • unaltered by computer software
  • at least 600 pixels wide and 750 pixels tall
  • at least 50KB and no more than 10MB

What your digital photo must show
The digital photo must:

  • contain no other objects or people
  • be taken against a plain light-coloured background
  • be in clear contrast to the background
  • not have ‘red eye’

If you’re using a photo taken during your application, include your head, shoulders and clothed upper body. Do not crop your photo - it will be done for you.

In your photo you must:

  • be facing forwards and looking straight at the camera
  • have a plain expression and your mouth closed
  • have your eyes open and visible
  • not have hair in front of your eyes
  • not have a head covering (unless it’s for religious or medical reasons)
  • not have anything covering your face
  • not have any shadows on your face or behind you

Do not wear sunglasses or tinted glasses. If you wear glasses that you cannot take off, your eyes must be visible without any glare or reflections.

Good and bad examples of digital photos

Blue Badge Photos

 

 

A blue badge costs £10, payable only when a badge has been approved and collected.

Payments can be made by the following methods:

  • Debit or credit card at Wesley House reception desk

This charge covers administration and badge production.

Application Assessment
We will take a look through your application and the supporting information you have provided with it and check we have everything we need to start to process it.

If we need further information – our team will contact you by telephone, letter or email, and advise what information we need to help us get a better picture of how your mobility is affected by your medical conditions.

Mobility Assessments
If we can’t make a decision from the application form, we will refer you for a mobility assessment with our Occupational Therapists.

You will be contacted with available appointment dates, and once confirmed, we will send the details out to you by letter, or email if preferred.

Appointments take place at Stephensons Resource Centre in Rainhill – all details will be sent to you in our confirmation letter.

The appointment itself takes around 45 minutes.

How will I get to know if my application has been successful?
If you have a mobility assessment, the Occupational Therapists will sometimes advise there and then, as to whether you have been successful. They may also give you further advice about aids and adaptations, that could help you manage your day to day living with your disability.

If your application has been successful, we will usually notify you by telephone when your badge is ready for collection.

If you haven't been successful, we will write out to you to advise that this is the case.

Can I appeal the decision?
Although there is no legal requirement for local authorities to have an appeals procedure in place, if you are not happy with the outcome of your application you have 28 days to request a "Review of Decision" explaining why you think the decision should be changed and you will need to provide further evidence to support your application. This would then be dealt with by the Service Manager, who will review the case and the initial decision made.

 

Badges are produced centrally by a National Blue Badge system via the Department for Transport.

Unless there are exceptional circumstances, badges are delivered to the St. Helens Council's Wesley House Contact Centre, by 2nd class post and within 5 working days

When we receive your badge, we will check that all of the details on it details are correct, and update our records to note we have received it

  • One of our team will then contact you to advise that the badge is ready for collection from the Contact Centre
  • On collection you must confirm your identity, pay the £10.00 fee, and sign to note that you have collected the badge from us
  • In exceptional circumstances we will arrange for your Badge to be delivered directly to your home address. Please ask one of our advisers for more details

Your badge is valid for a period of 3 years, unless we have stated otherwise.

The date of expiry is clearly marked on your badge, both on the front and on the back.

 

 

However, we will send you a reminder 3 months before your badge is due to expire, either by post or by email, depending on your preference.

We do not send out application forms - please see the 'How can I apply' section to find out what your options are.

To ensure that you receive your new badge in time, so that you have it as soon as your old one expires, please complete your application and provide all of the required information as soon as possible after receiving your reminder.

 

 

 

 

A Blue Badge is for the use and benefit only of the person to whom the Badge has been issued and misuse is a criminal offence which could lead to a £1,000 fine and confiscation of the Badge.

A Blue Badge should only be displayed if the Badge holder is travelling in the vehicle as a driver or passenger, or for a driver to park at the place where the Badge holder is being picked up or dropped off.

Do not use the Badge to allow non-disabled people to take advantage of the benefits while you sit in the car. Although it is not illegal for a Badge holder, or a non-disabled person waiting for the Badge holder to return, to remain in the vehicle while the Blue Badge is displayed, consideration should be given to using a car park whenever possible.

A Badge holder who is using the concessions of the Blue Badge Scheme as a passenger should ensure the driver is aware of all the rules for using the Badge.

Police officers, council officers and civil enforcement officers have the power to inspect a Blue Badge and confiscate it if they believe it is being misused.

Report Blue Badge misuse if you have any information or concerns about this. The council will seek to prosecute all cases of misuse.