A Blue Badge is a permit that allows you to use disabled parking spaces – which are usually closer to your destination. This can make it easier to access shops and other local amenities.
Blue Badges cost up to £10 in England and Northern Ireland and £20 in Scotland, but they are free in Wales.
They last up to three years, after which they will need to be renewed. The scheme differs slightly for Scotland and Northern Ireland, so it’s worth researching the scheme if you live in these countries.
You can also use a Blue Badge in some European countries, which will grant you the same concessions as citizens with disabilities. You can apply for, or renew, a Blue Badge using the government website (www.gov.uk). You can apply for yourself or, if you need help with the application process, someone can apply for you. You will need; proof of identification, proof of address, a recent photo, NI number and contact details.
Who is eligible?
In some cases, you may automatically receive a Blue Badge. For example, people who are registered blind or those who cannot walk more than 50 metres are automatically eligible.
Other criteria that may make someone eligible for a Blue Badge include; inability to walk, difficulty walking and mental illnesses such as anxiety. A full list of criteria for Blue Badges is available on the government website.
Your local council won’t be able to start the assessment process until they have all the necessary evidence that you are eligible. Some councils may require you to attend an assessment which is carried out by an independent healthcare professional. It will focus on walking distances, your mobility impairment and other criteria defined by legislation.
If you are denied a Blue Badge, you can appeal the decision. The local council will send a letter detailing why they rejected your application. To appeal, you can reply with any additional evidence or explanation that you feel justifies your need for a Blue Badge. If your condition worsens, you can also reapply.