The Blue Badge Scheme
The Blue Badge scheme operates throughout England and Wales (except for parts of central London). It is run by local councils.
The Blue Badge scheme is to help people who have problems with walking to park where there are parking restrictions, for example, close to shops, public buildings, and so on. A car displaying a Blue Badge driven by a disabled person, or with a disabled person as a passenger, can be parked in some, but not all, parking restricted areas.
The car doesn’t have to be driven by the disabled person, but they need to be in the car, unless they have just been dropped off or are being picked up.
Prior to 30 August 2019
Those who received automatic entitlement to a blue badge because they were awarded DLA mobility under the SMI criteria, no longer automatically qualified for it once they moved to PIP because there was no criteria for behavioural issues.
To qualify, people needed at least 8 points from the ‘moving around’ section.
Many of our members found that although they qualified for the full 12 points in the ‘planning and following a journey’ section and therefore the enhanced rate of the mobility component, this gave no automatic entitlement to the blue badge.
This only affected people living in England and Northern Ireland. Scotland and Wales still qualified.
The change from 30 August 2019
From 30 August, people with hidden disabilities will be granted access to the scheme, allowing people with less obvious health conditions the same right to park in disabled bays as those with physical disabilities.
The changes mean councils now have much clearer guidelines. Previously guidance was open to some interpretation.
What are the new criteria relevant for our members?
Eligible without further assessment
People may be issued a blue badge without further assessment if they are more than two years old and fall within one or more of the following descriptors
- Receives the Higher Rate of the Mobility Component of the Disability Living Allowance or
- Receives 8 points or more under the “moving around” activity of the mobility component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP); or
- Receives the mobility component of PIP and has obtained 10 points specifically for 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.
Please Note: applicants in receipt of 10 points for Descriptor D, or 12 points for Descriptor F under the ‘planning and following journeys’ mobility activity do not qualify under this criterion. Such applicants should be considered under the ‘subject to further assessment’ criteria
Your local authority is unable to award a Blue Badge on a combined score from both the ‘planning and following journeys’ and ‘moving around’ Mobility Activity.
Eligible subject to further assessment
People who may be issued with a badge after further assessment are those who are more than two years old and may be described as
A person who has been certified by an expert assessor as having an enduring and substantial disability which causes them, during the course of a journey, to either:
- Be unable to walk;
- Experience very considerable difficulty whilst walking, which may include very considerable psychological distress.
Wording has been changed from ‘difficulty with walking’. This means issues occur when they are walking during the course of a journey, rather than as a direct result of the physical act of walking.
- Be at risk of serious harm when walking; or pose, when walking, a risk of serious harm to any other person.
Risk of serious harm reflects that some ‘non-physical’ disabilities give rise to behaviour or lack of situational awareness that present safety risks for the disabled person or for others.
Where you can park
Badge holders are able to park in spaces reserved for blue badge holders. They are also able to park on single or double yellow lines for up to three hours (unless in a “no loading” zone).
To apply for or renew a Blue Badge
Check your eligibility and apply for a Blue Badge at
A Blue Badge costs up to £10 in England and £20 in Scotland. It’s free in Wales.
- A recent digital photo showing your head and shoulders.
- proof of identity (such as a passport or driving licence)
- proof of address (less than 12 months old)
- proof of benefits if applicable
- your National Insurance number (if you have one)
- Details of your current Blue Badge (if you’re reapplying)