Wokingham Borough Council are extending their blue badge scheme to include Hidden disabilities from 30th August
- The blue badge parking scheme will be extended to apply to those who suffer with non-visible conditions following a Department for Transport announcement on 15 June.
- Applications will be open on 30 August.
- Local authorities are responsible for deciding if an applicant meets the eligibility criteria, which are being guided by the Department for Transport.
- Not everyone with a non-physical disability will qualify for a badge.
Who is able to apply following the changes?
Automatic eligibility if:
- An applicant would be automatically eligible under the new criteria if they receive eight points or more under the “moving around” activity of the mobility component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
- OR they have specifically obtained Descriptor E under the “planning and following journeys” activity, on the grounds that they are unable to undertake any journey because it would cause them overwhelming psychological distress.
If the applicant did not score this, they can still apply under the hidden disability or walking disability option and their application will be assessed by their local authority.
If not automatically eligible:
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 a blue badge.
- Someone can consider applying for a blue badge if the applicant has a non-visible (hidden) condition, causing them to severely struggle with journeys between a vehicle and their destination.
They must also meet at least one of the following criteria to apply:
- Constantly a significant risk to themselves or others near vehicles, in traffic or car parks.
- Severely struggle to plan or follow a journey.
- Find it difficult or impossible to control their actions and lacks awareness of the impact they could have on others.
- Regularly have intense and overwhelming responses to situations causing temporary loss of behavioural control.
- Frequently become extremely anxious or fearful of public/open spaces.
How can you apply?
- All applications will be processed through the council’s website.
- The link for this is: https://www.wokingham.gov.uk/parking-and-transport/blue-badges/
- The form will take each applicant through the new criteria, outlining if they will be appropriate.
- If additional support is needed for a mediated application, this can be done on the phone or in person but will need to be booked in advance.
- As part of the application, the applicant will need to provide as much professional evidence as possible – a list of appropriate forms of evidence can be found below.
How will applications be assessed?
- Once the application has been processed an occupational therapist will assess it.
- Supporting evidence will be a key part of all applications.
- What are appropriate forms of evidence for an application?
- A letter of diagnosis as up to date as possible.
- Evidence of the progression of the condition over time.
- Confirmation of ongoing treatments, clinic attendances or referrals.
- Evidence of medication you’ve been prescribed over time.
- Evidence of specialist consultations or referrals.
- A patient summary or care records.
- Education Health and Care Plans (EHCP).
- Care plans from social care teams.
- Social housing letters or assessment reports.
- Letters from other professionals involved on your care.
- Personal Independence Payment (PIP) decision letters.
- Evidence of other benefits received.
- Contact details of professionals who can support your application.
How long will the application take to process?
- Applications could take up to 12 weeks to process but we will process all applications as quickly as possible.
Anyone with further questions can contact our customer delivery team on 0118 974 6000. Please select option five for children’s and adult’s services and then option three for blue badge enquiries.