I noticed this story in Disability News Service recently.
Its rather shouty headline refers to the situation in England where the author of the article relates his opinion on the allocation of Blue badges, as it concerns those in receipt of Pip or DLA, and who suffer from cognitive illness.
This area of benefits has become difficult enough for volunteers to navigate, and even the very experienced author at DNS had to amend his article as a follows:
“*This article was amended on 3 June to show that people who receive the standard or enhanced PIP mobility rates under the moving around criteria now receive a blue badge automatically. It previously stated that people had to receive the enhanced PIP mobility rate to qualify automatically.”
The thrust of this article was about people who have disability such as Autism having their Blue badge taken away by local Councils in England. That could affect people who have difficulty in travelling, or who have awareness problems as regards traffic.
However, does this legislation apply to Scotland?
I searched around and eventually found an article in the Scottish Government Website that relates to this subject.
I am reluctant to try and analyse it because, although the document is in fairly normal language, it would be better to bring notice of such matters to those who are affected, and advise them to seek clarification at the office.
Reading of the Scottish Government Document does not appear to present great difficulty for those affected.
The definition to whom this Scottish Government Document applies are given as:
“The aim of this policy is to extend eligibility, via an application to the local authority, to people who have cognitive impairments who have no awareness of danger from traffic and are likely to compromise their safety, or the safety of others as result. The desired outcome is in minimising the risk to personal safety by being able to park to essential amenities and services . “
It would be worth reading this document because a pilot scheme for a year has been set –up from April 2016 which will allow for the gathering of data on people who will be affected by this change.
Transport Scotland state:
“The Scottish Government undertook an EQIA ( Equality Impact Assessment) as part of the process to develop policy on extending eligibility, via an application to the local authority, to people who have cognitive impairments who have no awareness of danger from traffic and are likely to compromise their safety, or the safety of others as result.
This policy will initially operate on a pilot basis effective from 1 April 2016 and it will affect individuals who as a result of their diagnosed condition may not find themselves eligible for a blue badge.
To be eligible under this new criteria an individual will need to be able to demonstrate firstly that they have a diagnosis of a ‘mental disorder’ as set out in section 328 of the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003.
Secondly, the applicant will need to be in receipt of the highest or middle rates of the care component of Disability Living Allowance, the higher or lower rates of Attendance Allowance or been assessed for Personal Independence Payment as having severely limited ability or limited ability to carry out daily living activities in respect of communicating verbally, reading and understanding signs, symbols and words and engaging with other people face to face.
If they meet these first two criteria their application will be assessed by the local authority, either via desk based assessment, or, if necessary, via a face to face assessment. “
However, as always, if you feel the need to check if you are in the categories affected by these changes, please contact the office.