Blue badge entitlement

Hi,

I was diagnosed on Wednesday with MS, my Consultant can’t tell me what type yet as I don’t fit RRMS I have had slowly worsening mobility symptoms since July so possibly Progressive just waiting to see how it unfolds.

family have suggested I need to apply for a blue badge. I am not sure I will qualify so would be interested to know whether anyone like me has?

I have fatiguable foot drop, still walk my dog but can only manage shorter walks now of just over 1mile, twice a day & I need to use a walking stick when the foot drop happens my arms ache using my stick. I have been referred to physio.

I get bad fatigue, am currently still working full time in a busy city centre location where I often have to park on a top floor of a car park no lift & 4 flights of stairs to the top. When I have fatigue I struggle with my balance & get the shakes. I end most days with severe neck ache that radiates into my arms.

On Neuro assessment my lower limbs I have brisk reflexes, Clonus 4-5 beats & crossed adductors. Upper limbs also brisk reflexes & Hoffmanns.

Otherwise I also suffer from mild unsteadiness.

Snowqueen

There is no diagnosis that automatically qualifies you for a blue badge.

I don’t drive, so it doesn’t really arise - hardly worth the hassle of applying for the very rare occasions I’m a passenger in someone else’s car.

I think the exact criteria may vary from council to council, but certainly round here (S. Gloucs.) it is severely restricted mobility.

Frankly, I don’t think there’s any chance someone able to walk over a mile would qualify.

Round here, I think the guide is that you need to be in receipt of the higher rate mobility element of PIP - which, roughly speaking, means can’t walk further than the length of two buses - with or without a mobility aid. So a mile - even with difficulty - would obviously not even be borderline.

It might vary slightly where you are, but I’m willing to bet it’s not open to anyone who can walk a mile. Sorry.

Tina

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hi snowqueen

firstly sorry to hear that you’re waiting for a definite dx. i hope your doing as best as you can with it all. you sound like you’re doing really well holding down a full time job as also having had my first relapse in july i do sympathise.

a blue badge will help a lot as you will get some concessions as you presumably have no choice but to drive. it will make parking easier and cheaper.

just got my blue badge, and with some advice from the MS society and my mum (who is arthritic) which i will pass on- you have to fill out the form as if it was your very worst day. not to be the bearer of bad news but it is unlikely that anyone who can walk a mile would get considered.

take care, fluffyollie xx

adding to fluffyollie’s advice -

tell how the fatigue hits us hard (for me it makes my mobility 10 x worse).

good luck

carole x

Hi snow queen,

sorry to hear about your DX I hope you are coming to terms with it a bit

I am sorry that I must agree with Tina that the ability to walk a mile will preclude you from a blue badge. I know you referred to this as a “shorter” walk and is probably significantly less than you were used to doing but in terms of limited mobility its a marathon. The criteria for a blue badge varies according to your local authority but a good rule of thumb is the length of two buses that Tina mentioned.

If there are days when you cannot manage to make your mile because of fatigue and are down to a hobble then by all means apply and explain the variable nature of your condition but I don’t hold out much hope for success - sorry.

Jane

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Thank You All, that is very much what I thought. I hope no one thought I was taking the p*** asking the question I am just trying to be practical and work everything out.

I know on paper my disability is minor but Jane you hit the nail on the head. Compared to where I was 12 months ago to me and my family it is massive.

A few years ago I lost 7.5 stone, I was always active but got back in to being very active when I lost my weight, I did adult gymnastics classes 1-2 times a week, on my days off from work did 2 fitness classes a day at the gym, walked my dog at least 7.5 miles on my days off 2.5 miles on work days, did agility classes & competitions with my dog, skied between 2-6 weeks every winter ski season, 2 of which were teaching British school children with 10 in a group,

In terms of diagnosis I saw this coming but desperately hoped I was wrong. I am still hoping things will change & the Consultant will be able to say it’s RRMS with treatment available. He did say what I’ve been experiencing could be a very stubborn relapse but all the descriptions of Progressive fit my history of subtle mobility issues worsening, I have multiple brain & spinal lesions.

Very recently my Fatigue has been massive I have been having to go to bed as soon as I get home from work and when I work a couple of days together it wipes me out. Being out with my dog used to be one of the best parts of my day, at times now it just feels like a struggle & that I am dragging myself round. My four legged friend is my family and I am committed to him 100% he is a 30kg border collie cross so a very active breed who needs his walks so no matter how I feel I will do what he needs.

My occupation is as a Nurse I am an Education Sister (changed roles in June last year thankfully) so 1/2 my job is now office/ classroom based thankfully. The other 1/2 of my job is very full on front line nursing in a Children’s Intensive Care. I love my job.

I am trying to be positive and focus on what I can do, hoping that this does go into remission and allows me to get even some of my old life back.

Sorry I bet some of you want to slap me as I know compared to a lot of you my issues are minor.

Snowqueen x

No, certainly didn’t think you were taking the p*ss. I wondered about all these things, too, when first diagnosed, but was quick to find I’m neither poor nor ill enough for help with any damn thing!

Like you, I don’t want to sound like I’m moaning. I know I should count my blessings I’m NOT disabled enough to qualify for anything - even after 4.5 years.

But bless those friends and relatives who think you can claim everything for free as soon as you get an MS diagnosis. They mean well, eh? Even my brother thinks home adaptations, if needed, will be free. He didn’t realise they are means tested, and because I have savings (which I’m living on) I wouldn’t get anything.

Definitely it’s good to focus on what you can do, not what you can’t. Walking over two miles every day (as I understand it) - albeit not in one go - is good!

Try to keep going with it - your neuro will be pleased. Mine told me that he’s “not the police”, and can’t make me do it, but that if I persevere with the walking, it’s better than anything he can prescribe, in his opinion.

Tina

x

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No I didn’t think you were chancing it either. Until you investigate things how on earth will you find out. Well meaning friends and family are full of “you ought to…”

If I could offer you one little piece of advice of over 20 years of MS it’s not too look to long and hard at what you “used” to be able to do. That ship, as they say, has sailed and it will only depress you to make comparisons. Look at today and how you can work round whatever limitations you have to live the kind of life you want to live. Walking my dog used to be my greatest pleasure but it turned into a struggle for me too. I now have a small dog and walk him with a mobility scooter. It’s not the same as tramping in the heather with a high energy spaniel but it’s achievable and that’s what counts

good luck and post all your questions here, there’s always some bright spark with the answer

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I agree, Jane, but would just add that this is a state of mind that it can take some time to get to. For me, taking a long, clear look at the things I was losing - looking bad luck straight in the eye, if you like - and acknowledging the loss as a real loss that did not look or feel like anything else, was part of the process of achieving some sort of acceptance. And that, for me, was a necessary step along the way towards making the best of things.

It is something that I have to do anew with every new loss. But I know the drill now, and getting to the desired state of getting on with it tends to comes a bit quicker and easier after each new set-back. But I’m certainly not counting my philosophical chickens - MS is perfectly capable of springing nasty surprises that the old ways cannot deal with. But never mind. Life goes on, and it’s good - despite everything!

Alison

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Hi Snow Queen, I applied for my Badge even before diagnosis. Five broken bones (separate falls) and the inability to carry only one small shoulder bag. Used a walking stick. I live in West Sussex, and with the completed application and a letter from my G.P. it arrived in under two weeks. Don’t use it much now as I had to sell the car as my hands couldn’t work the ignition key, but great to have the badge for shopping etc.

Good luck, I would give it a try. Just apply for the form on-line from your local council. It really does help not to be pre-occupied with car parks without lifts, carrying shopping etc.

Take care - Mary

Hi i have blue badge. But you have to show council award letter showing your in receipt of higher rate mobility allowance

hi snowqueen

please don’t think that just because your ms is seemingly ‘not as bad’ as others that you have no right to be pssd off- hell is a very personal place, and everyone’s condition is different.

from what i’ve read, it is worth to continue applying. as for grants, concessions etc. ‘if you don’t ask, you don’t get’.

have you made contact with access to work? they can make work-based assessments of you which will benefit your working environment.

take care, fluffyollie xx

Thank You everyone for your input and support. Been a very strange week but got through it, lots of you have helped me so much it’s helped just being able to read the Forums, makes it all feel less lonely. Don’t get me wrong I have had overwhelming support from friends & family but I know lots of you really get it all.

Thank You Snowqueen

Snow queen can I ask did you apply and did you get a badge ?

The reason I ask is I think I have a similar path to you in as much as 90% of the time I am relatively fit and healthy, I still ride, do Pilates and work 4 days week only thing I cant do is ski anymore ! but in my bad days I really struggle with fatigue and my bladder , lik is you I go to work then bed as soon as I get home . I have asked my employers with access to closer parking on those days but even though is a large local authority and I am a senior manager within it it cannot meet my needs … I can fight for the 40 or so short term places , which on a bad day are always gone when I arrive or they insist I need to apply fir a blue badge … I don’t think I am eligible and part of me doesn’t want the apply as I guess I am still in my head " fighting" against acknowledging MS has any impact on my life … I had my licence revoked recently and I am being issued with a medical licence with restricted use of vehicles and the air was blue when I received that little gem …

Hi snow queen,you don’t get unless you ask .I’m in agreement with the other people on here.if you can walk a mile then sorry I don’t think you have the criteria that’s fits the said blue badge does say only people with terminal illness and those on high Tate mobility qualifies.

Hello Snowqueen.

You’ve already had lots of good advice here. I think the whole MS course is a highly individual one. The blue badge is a slippery issue. My local authority, East Sussex made it clear that the highest rate of mobility DLA was necessary unless there were outstanding circumstances. It may have changed since 2001 but I know some people who have a blue badge but can walk a substantial distance. I can’t work it out. So perhaps it’s worth a try. Like many others, your case is very similar to mine. I was diagnosed in 1994; I knew well before that but it was still a shock. I managed to keep working until 2012.

Allowances were made but there was a bit of resentment going on with one or two colleagues; especially over my shiny brand new motability cars. If you can do it, keep working for your own sense of self worth. We can all adapt. I see a few people with scooters walking their dog. I have a tramper which can go anywhere.

Best wishes, Steve.

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Errm …Snowqueen posted almost 2 years ago, not nearly one year ago !!

Dom