Forum

blue badge advice

Hi all,

I’m just after some advice and your experiences with the blue badge system.

I’ve been diagnosed with PPMS now for about 2 and a half years (although I’ve had it for many years prior to diagnosis), and it primarily affects my left leg, in that it gets fatigued quickly (along with the spasms) and at the worst times, becomes quite non responsive and I end up just dragging it and staggering.

To cut a long story short, my application was declined, even though I explained everything, with the surrey county council official stating that “my application has been assessed against the dept of transport guidelines” and that in their opinion “Your disability is not considered to cause you inability to walk or very considerable difficulty in walking”.

Nice… considering that they didn’t even contact my MS nurse or my neuro phyiso, or even ask to assess me! I’m not in receipt of DLA, but that’s a story for another day…

Anyway, my question is… has anyone here had a similar experience, and if so, did you manage to successfully appeal the decision? Or any advice as to how I might approach an appeal would be most welcome.

Thanks for listening.
Ag.

In my experience you have to be in receipt of DLA higher rate mobility. When you go for your badge you have to provide proof that DWP send you. I think this is your problem. The Blue Badge Scheme runs in conjunction with DWP. Hope this answers your question.

MM

Local councils don’t go to great lengths to make Blue Badge assessments. They will not generally contact health professionals other than your GP who needs to support your application.

If you do not get DLA they need to make a determination based on the info that you give them.

I snagged this from London Borough of Richmond to give an idea what they are looking for

Unable to walk:

• You need to show that because of your disability you cannot put one foot in front of the other.

• If your only way of getting about is to “swing through” crutches then you will be considered unable to walk.

Virtually unable to walk:

Unable to walk very far without experiencing severe discomfort; discomfort can mean either pain or breathlessness; extreme fatigue and stress may also be taken into account (It has been accepted that discomfort is subjective and that some people have higher pain thresholds than others).

Unless both your legs are missing then you will need to show that you experience severe discomfort even when using your artificial aid.

In assessing the above the following factors will be taken into account:

• Distance you can walk, without experiencing severe discomfort.

• Speed at which you walk.

• Length of time you can walk.

• Manner in which you walk.

The question is about walking out of doors not in your home.

Exertion required to walk:

This is to establish if walking would constitute a danger to your life or whether it would be likely to lead to a serious deterioration in your health.

• The criteria is intended for people with serious chest, lung or heart conditions.

• Some people with haemophilia may also qualify.

• Serious deterioration does not need to be permanent but it should require medical intervention for you to recover.

• People with epilepsy will need to show that any fits were brought about by the effort required to walk.

As with DWP applications you need to cross Ts and dot Is. It will not be a healthcare professional looking at your application. Make it easy for them to match what you have said with their check list.

You must appeal if you think they have got it wrong. In your letter point out why they are wrong and restate your case as succinctly as you can. I know that some people favour long wordy explanations but I think in this case less might be more.

Good Luck

Hi, I know you can automatically get a blue badge if you get higher rate dla, so you obviously don’t. I know it will take a while but do you think you should maybe also pursue a claim for dla. I don’t know you of course but it sounds like you might qualify. In the meantime appeal the blue badge and I agree with “wendels”, I’d keep it succinct, brief, straight to the point. Cheryl:-)

Thank you for all your info, and most importantly taking the time to respond. At least I now know what I am dealing with!! Ag

Hi, don’t know if this will help as all councils seem to work differently but in my area (East Riding of Yorkshire ) , I have had a blue badge for the last three years and I have only just been awarded DLA. I am not sure whether things have toughened up from the changes in January this year though. It is certainly worth appealing though with perhaps letters of support from GP and neuro etc as a blue badge fom my experience is invaluable for everyday living as MS progresses and makes things much more difficult. Good luck, Lilbill x

Please contact your local ms branch, mine could not have been more helpful, even though I haven’t accepted out loud that I’m suffering I did acknowledge the need for te badge after a nudge from my gp. They couldn’t have been more helpful and went over the form with me filling it out as we went along. I am not a formal member and really only seek help in secret from this forum, please, please let them help. They have been brilliant with me.

Im being supported by my social worker to get a blue badge I was refused any dla

I have had a blue badge for 6 years and only was awarded DLA last year so it is possible. Can you get your MS nurse to write a supporting letter???

Read what Wendells and Lilbill have said.
It is all about some clerk working to a check-list.
You do not say that you can walk 50 yards on a good day - if the check-list figure is 20 yds, then you have blown it. Right there.

Worst cases every time, short and sweet. Like “10 yards with the aid of a stick”. No details are needed - if you need an aid to get that far, then without it you could go less. Get the idea?

Geoff

I had to go for an assessment and I walked really slowly, I imagined I was having my worst day, cause thats what I would need it for. Also they ask you to grade the pain, which is so subjective, my 2/10 could be someone elses 9/10. Bear that in mind when you answer as well.

I don’t get DLA (I am in the process of applying for it) but I got a Blue Badge a couple of weeks ago.

What I would suggest for applying for this (and for everything else) is to tell them EVERYTHING. Essentially wear them down with the information you give them .

I was annoyed that the standard application form for Blue Badge was completely geared towards people with skeleton/muscular problems or breathing problems affecting their walking and most of the questions did not apply to me. I am not in pain with walking and I don’t get short of breath but my stability and speed are very affected by MS. I fall and, sometimes, completely freeze and cannot move at all (only for seconds but really scary when it happens half way across a main road!)

I made a big point about my problems using public transport. I have problems with (down) escalators on the tube (sometimes I cannot time stepping onto them and am at a real risk of falling. Only a small number of Tube Stations are disability friendly/step free. I sometimes cannot step up onto overground trains or buses. And I certainly can’t stand up for a whole journey (and London Commuters will almost NEVER give up their seat to someone with a disability) All of this means that my husband has to accompany me on all my journeys on Public Transport – not just for my safety but for the safety of everyone else I could knock over like a rogue bowling ball.

I made sure that I mentioned the fact that I did not use my stick indoors but only because I can “furniture surf” or guide myself by keeping a hand on the wall.

Fatigue ………… etc etc etc You get the picture

My view is to give the person making the decision enough hooks upon which they can hang their decision. I think that the form is badly designed and it pushes applicants towards saying “I’ve got MS and sometimes I can’t walk very far” and nothing else. One size does not fit all, so it’s up to each applicant to tailor their application to fit.

Or it could be that I just bored Croydon Council into suspicion.

This approach also worked with my assessment by ATOS (for reasonable adjustments for work, not for ESA) The woman doing my assessment had to cut me short because we ran out of time. She HAD to find in my favour!

Bored Croydon Council into SUBMISSION not suspiscion of course

Hi Everyone. I have some news :slight_smile: Well after reading all your good advice, I appealed Surrey CC’s decision to refuse my blue badge application. They refered me for a walking assessment and I also submitted a letter of support from my MS nurse. Two weeks ago, I went for my walking assessment, and today after what seemed like an eternity I received my blue badge in the post :slight_smile: Perserverance does pay off. Thanks again for your help and encouragement. Ag.

Like you I had a lot of problems prior to my diagnosis.

Even when I had been diagnosed with MS my local authority thought my illness was bad enough to dismiss me from my job but not bad enough to give me a blue badge.

Fortunately my GP wrote a letter of support and I got my blue badge.

I would go to your GP and express your difficulties and get them to write you a letter of support ~ then send it in with your application for a blue badge.

Like you I had a lot of problems prior to my diagnosis.

Even when I had been diagnosed with MS my local authority thought my illness was bad enough to dismiss me from my job but not bad enough to give me a blue badge.

Fortunately my GP wrote a letter of support and I got my blue badge.

I would go to your GP and express your difficulties and get them to write you a letter of support ~ then send it in with your application for a blue badge.

I had an assessment over a year ago in the Romford area and it put me off trying again. At the time I had to walk very slowly and spread my arms out often to stay balanced. I guess being a man when they asked how much pain I was in I probably said 5/10 although it’s enough to stop me sleeping 3 nights a week. Now I walk with a stick most of the time. It means I’m better at walking of course but no less tired but no doubt it means I’m more able to walk so less in need of a blue badge. This forum has given me a push to try again though. It annoys me in many ways when you have to drive past ranks of empty disabled spaces to find a place and trudge miles to get anywhere. Rubbish!