Blue Badge Refusal

By: A.C.

I am going to be a bit contrary as regards the BBC story about the amputee who was refused a Blue Badge in Cornwall. (AAD Facebook and BBC News) .

The man in question has Diabetes, and firstly lost his toes then his leg below the knee.  I would urge all our readers to read the article by Aberdeen City Podiatry Department on our blog about Diabetic Foot Screening and its importance in keeping our feet healthy and preventing the loss of toes or lower limbs.

The first thing that many people would feel is outrage, that an amputee has been refused a Blue Badge apparently by an unthinking uncompassionate bureaucrat in the local council who has no idea about disability.

This man held a Blue Badge for three years before he had his lower leg amputated. He had previously lost his toes.  Losing toes makes one unbalanced and mobility is badly affected. He is reported as needing a full door width that a Disabled parking Bay affords to Blue Badge Holders, in order that he swings his leg out of the car.

This is where I will get a bit contrary to the normal view as I can actually see why the council have refused a Blue Badge.

The criteria for a Blue Badge are not about how wide you need a parking space in order to swing a leg out. A number of years back, being able to walk at least 40 metres was what one had to be able to walk. Then the criteria were tightened up through National Rules, and Scotland also applies those same criteria, which include the distance of being able to walk being cut to around 20 metres. That in itself was a big blow to the disabled, but was seen by Government as only helping those who were very severely disabled.

Many people, who are fitted with leg prosthetics, take part in Disability Sports, Paralympics, climbing; running or indeed find that their quality of life can improve because of a well –fitted and modern prosthetic.

So if the Blue Badge were just about being able to use an extra-wide parking bay, then what about side loading or rear–loading vehicles that have ramps for a wheelchair?  They often get blocked by inconsiderate drivers who park illegally in bays anyway, or park too close to the rear of the vehicle and prevent access.

 I have no idea if the man in question sought advice before applying for his Blue Badge. One has to assume he did not because in essence, if he had sought advice on what the criteria were, and had spoken to his local disability advisor, the outcome might have been different.

So, yes, if he improved his walking after amputation through the fitting of a modern prosthetic then he does not qualify if he can “walk” more than 20 metres. Harsh and apparently an injustice for many people, but those are the rules we have to live with..

There are various articles in our blog about Blue Badge application. To view them all use the search box on the right of the web page, and type in Blue Badge.  Here is one I wrote earlier.

Before you begin the process of application for a Blue Badge, contact our Office, for advice on completing the forms.

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One Response to Blue Badge Refusal

  1. AC says:

    I thought I should clarify my use of the minimum distance of 20 metres in the above article and elsewhere. The Government state at its website

    “Meets a ‘Moving Around’ descriptor for the Mobility Component of Personal Independence Payment
    Section 2c
    Please complete this section if you receive Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and your decision letter states that you meet one of the following ‘Moving Around’ descriptors within the Mobility Component:
    You can stand and then move unaided more than 20 metres but no more than 50 metres. [This gives you a score of 8.]
    You can stand and then move using an aid or appliance more than 20 metres but no more than 50 metres. [This gives you a score of 10.]
    You can stand and then move more than 1 metre but no more than 20 metres either aided or unaided. [This gives you a score of 12.]
    You cannot, either aided or unaided, stand or move more than 1 metre. [This gives you a score of 12.]
    Your decision letter, or your annual uprating letter if your decision letter is more than twelve months old, can be used as proof of receipt of the relevant PIP award. If you have lost your PIP decision letter, then please contact DWP for a PIP decision letter

    ” if you have a permanent and substantial disability which means you cannot walk or which means that you have very considerable difficulty walking. A permanent disability is one that is likely to last for the duration of your life. Medical conditions such as asthma, autism psychological / behavioural problems, Crohn’s disease / incontinent conditions and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (M.E.) are not in themselves a qualification for a badge. People with these conditions may be eligible under this criterion, but only if they are unable to walk or have very considerable difficulty in walking, in addition to their condition.
    Applicants are asked to describe the nature of their disability and give an estimate of the maximum distance they can walk without assistance or severe discomfort. It can be difficult to accurately work out the distance you can walk. There are several things that can help you:
    Ask someone to walk with you and pace the distance you walk.
    The average adult step is just under 1 metre. For example, if the person walking with you took 100 steps, you would have walked about 90 metres (or 100 yards).
    The average double-decker bus is about 11 metres (or 12 yards) long.
    A tennis court is about 24 metres (or 26 yards) long.
    A full-size football pitch is about 100 metres (or 110 yards) long.
    If you still find it difficult to work out the distance you can walk in metres, please note:
    The number of steps you can take, and how long, in minutes, it would take you to walk this distance.
    About your walking speed.
    The way that you walk, for example, shuffling or small steps etc.
    Your local authority may ask you to have a mobility assessment with a medical professional, such as a physiotherapist or occupational therapist, in order to determine whether you meet the eligibility criteria. You may have had a mobility assessment in the last 12 months which covered your walking ability and you can give details of this in the relevant section of the form (any further information – see below for more detail).

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