What are the new blue badge criteria and how are they different to the previous criteria?

In general, only people who have physical difficulties currently qualify for a Blue Badge. The new Blue Badge Criteria will also consider those with hidden disabilities. Only those people who have very significant difficulties will be eligible, for example if they suffer severe psychological distress when undertaking a journey

I already have a Blue Badge – will it affect me when I renew?

Anyone who is currently eligible will continue to be eligible providing that there is no change in their circumstances relating to their conditions or disability. The current rules are generally focused on mobility issues rather than other difficulties and this won't change. The new rules will simply be added to the current scheme.

When will I be able to apply under the new criteria?

Applications can be made from 30 August 2019.

What benefits will prove automatic eligibility under the new criteria?

From 30 August 2019, people who receive 10 points on Personal Independence Payment (PIP) – Specifically for the Mobility Activity, “Planning and following a journey” descriptor E because they ‘cannot undertake any journey because it would cause them overwhelming psychological distress’ (only) under the “planning and following a journey” activity of the mobility component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) will be automatically eligible.

Please note that people who have 10 or 12 points for any other descriptor will not be automatically eligible, but may be eligible subject to further assessment. Before 30 August 2019, people who may have been issued with a badge without further assessment were those who are more than two years old and fall within one or more of the following descriptions:

  • receives the Higher Rate of the Mobility Component of the Disability Living Allowance (HRMCDLA)
  • receives 8 points or more under the “moving around” activity of the mobility component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • is registered blind (severely sight impaired)
  • receives a War Pensioner's Mobility Supplement (WPMS)
  • has been both awarded a lump sum benefit at tariffs 1-8 of the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme and certified as having a permanent and substantial disability which causes inability to walk or very considerable difficulty in walking.

In addition to this, from 30 August 2019, people who receive 10 points because they ‘cannot undertake any journey because it would cause them overwhelming psychological distress’ (only) under the “planning and following a journey” activity of the mobility component of Personal
Independence Payment (PIP) will be eligible.

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.

Eligible criteria

An applicant meets the following PIP criteria scoring 10 points:

  • Mobility Activities
  • 1. Planning and following journeys
  • e. Cannot undertake any journey because it would cause overwhelming psychological distress to the claimant

May be eligible

The person is subject to further assessment where an applicant has an invisible (hidden) condition or disability, causing them to severely struggle with journeys between a vehicle and their destination.

Specific questions will have been added to the process and it will be up to the applicant to provide the relevant supporting evidence.

My mother has dementia and gets very confused, will she be able to get a blue badge?

She won't automatically be eligible due to the diagnosis of dementia alone. However, she may be eligible subject to an assessment. People with dementia (or their relatives on their behalf) will need to provide sufficient information on their application to demonstrate that they experience significant psychological distress when they're walking. They may apply under the existing walking criteria if they have significant mobility issues.

My 10 year old son has autism and often runs off, will he be able to get a blue badge?

No, he won't automatically be eligible due to the diagnosis of autism alone; however, he may be eligible subject to an assessment. You will need to provide sufficient information to demonstrate that he experiences very considerable psychological distress when he is walking.

You will need to fill in an application form after 30 August 2019.

I have epilepsy, will I be able to get a blue badge?

A diagnosis of epilepsy will not result in automatic eligibility for a blue badge. Your application will need to include information regarding the frequency of your fits, whether they are controlled by medication and whether the action of walking brings on a seizure.

What proof will I need to provide?

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.

You will need to complete all relevant sections of the online application and provide evidence of your condition; a letter of diagnosis, as up-to-date as possible and evidence of the progression of the condition over time.

You may also need to provide any of the following to show your eligibility:

  • confirmation of ongoing treatments or clinic attendances, or referral for such
  • evidence of prescribed medication relevant to your condition
  • evidence of specialist consultations, or referral for such
  • your Patient Summary or Summary Care Records
  • Education Health and Care Plans (EHCP)
  • Care Plans from social care teams
  • social housing letters or assessment reports from a local authority
  • letters from other professionals involved in your care
  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP) decision letters
  • evidence of other benefits received
  • contact details of professionals who can support your application