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Blue badge turned down - feeling fed up :-(

Hi everyone,

There’s been tears this morning and I’m feeling sorry for myself.

I know that there have to be tight criteria for these things but up until now I haven’t wanted to ‘give into’ MS and then all in the same week I applied for the badge, bought a walking stick (rather than using the long handled umbrella I had been using lol) and went to see the GP about pain relief (started on Gabapentin). So when I got a letter back from them saying that they didn’t think my walking difficulties were severe enough it’s really upset me, it’s like they don’t believe I’m struggling. I know that that’s being a bit overdramatic but it’s how I feel today.

I’ve probably been naive when I’ve filled in the application form and haven’t really used my very worst day, but now what can I do? I can’t ask for advice anywhere else because everywhere is shut. Do you think I can appeal?

The letter said that of course if I received higher rate DLA then I would automatically get a badge but I hadn’t even wanted to apply for that, I work, my husband works so I feel I would be cheating the system by asking for benefits, all I wanted was for outings and errands to be made a little bit easier. Also the chances of me getting high rate are low I think.

The other thing that’s worrying me is that we’re going to Florida on holiday this year (that’s a strange combination in a sentence isn’t it! I’m very happy and lucky to be going!). Anyway we’ve been before and I know the distances that have to be walked, even just to get from the car parks to the entrance. We’re thinking of hiring a scooter when we’re there to save taking one with us and it’s cheaper than hiring them at the parks, but if I don’t have a blue badge then we have to park miles from the entrance and at Disney they have trams that take you from the car parks to the entrance which means either my children have to walk miles before they even get to the park or I have to travel on the scooter myself and try to meet them somewhere.

Has anyone else had any experience of this? Do you think they would issue me a temporary blue badge if I can’t get a permanent one? Or is there any other way of getting a badge in Florida…maybe a letter from my consultant or GP?

Any help or advice appreciated. Thanks!

Lynn

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Hi Lynn sorry to hear that, but it is becoming harder and harder now.

I dont think there is the allowance for temporary badge, but can you not appeal their decision? Its seems a bit unfair if you have diagnosed MS and trouble with walking that you should have one.

As to DLA full mobility the criteria for that now is very difficult to get sadly but you should apply anyway if you are having mobility problems.

I think you can get a temporary blue badge for florida on line, but not sure if you need the uk blue badge now to get it.

I dont know what to suggest to be honest. Can you hire an electric wheelchair at the park in florida as surely then you can use the tram?

I would try to appeal first. Did your GP actually support your application? Mariax

There is probably an appeal system - it should have told you about it in the letter they sent turning you down (good practice) but if they didn’t you can probably find it on your Council’s website.

I got turned down when I applied and it was my GP who told me to apply, so I went back to my GP and asked her for a letter to support my application. She did one and I sent it in with my appeal and I was given a blue badge.

Best wishes - J.

Hi Lyn,

I’ve been pondering on your Florida problem if you don’t have a blue badge.
It will be not be practical for your children to walk from the car parks – it’s far too far (and too hot) so cast that solution aside. The thing to do is to get your husband to drop you off at the entrance or at the handicapped parking and then double back to park in the normal way and come up to the gate with the kids on the tram. The car parks are full of staff and they will be very helpful if you explain that you need dropping at the gate. I don’t imagine it’s an unusual situation – people have lots of temporary infirmities like broken legs.

You can get a Florida parking permit but it’s a bit of a tarradiddle and will gobble up some of your holiday time. If I remember you need a drs letter (US Dr so you’ll have to go to one of those walk in clinics with a drs letter from home) you take this to the town hall in Kissimmee and wait forever in a long queue. I wouldn’t bother. You will be able to sort out the car-parking thing – if you need reassurance on this ring Disney.

With respect to DLA and working. Although I understand your reluctance the very fact that you have addition expenses (eg the scooter) because of your disability says that DLA is not unwarranted. LOTS of people get DLA and work.

As to your Blue Badge. You didn’t get it because you didn’t fill the form in right – simple as. The council can only look at what you put. It’s not judgmental, just a tick list. You need to appeal. Prepare a letter saying that you disagree with their conclusions and describe the difficulties that you have in the mode of DLA. They will be looking for something that matches higher rate mobility:

EG.

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.

When they say “unable to walk very far” they are probably thinking of less than 50m

Have a wonderful time in Florida and say hello to Mickey for me.

Jane

It is time you put in for DLA ,ask for the form for carers component as well as mobility.

Dont be afraid to apply,if your entitled to it you should of applied a long time ago.Once you get it this will not only entitle you to a blue badge if you get the full amount but a free bus pass amongst other things.

Your husband is working this mean his taxes have paid towards this benefit over the years so get on the phone and ask for the forms and fill them in ASAP…

Hi Lynn

You should definitely appeal. It seems like, unless you get DLA, all applications get turned down first time as a matter of policy. That happened to me even though I struggled to walk more than 10 yards, and then I got it on appeal. If you could get a letter of support from your GP or MS nurse then that will help when you do appeal.

Dan

Hi Lynn, You can pay a few dollars more to get priority parking at most parks, I’ve done this even before ms as I hate waiting on the trams, or walking miles before you even get to the park, the other option is get dropped off + leave hubby to park. Hope this helps Julsiexx

Thanks everyone for your replies, you’ve all given me some really helpful advice! Hadn’t even thought of getting dropped off nearer the gate and had totally forgotten about priority parking. And I think you’re all right that I should maybe give applying for DLA a shot. Think I’ll arrange an appointment with my GP to see if he’ll support my appeal for a badge and for a DLA application. Thanks again! Lynn

Minni its worth a shot and if your refused please appeal.

Ring your Neuro and any service providors such as Occupational Therapist,MS nurse,Physio,Social Services etc for support letters.

Lynn, I lived in fear of what has happened to you when I applied for a blue badge. It was bad enough needed one, but having it turned down would have destroyed me - even more than I was destroyed at the time. It took many many months of encouragement to pursuade me to even apply. Then I had to actually fill the form in…

I made a note in my application that I had been advised to describe my ‘worst day’ but if that was a problem they should contact me for more information. I then went ahead and described how bad it had been a few months earlier. I was awarded a blue badge with no problems - it’s obviously not policy to automatically refuse in South Gloucestershire!

I have now finally got the DLA forms, and now dithering over filling them in. I really don’t want to be eligable! The West of England MS Therapy Centre has moved to a couple of miles from where I live (it’s now in Bradley Stoke) so I’m taking advantage of the MSSociety supported Citizens Advice person to help me. ‘After Easter’ is when I’ve said to myself I’ll get going on actually filling in the form.

Definitely appeal!

And for a slightly different slant …

My Blue Badge come up for renewal later this year. The biggest single advantage it offers me is the extra-wide disabled parking spaces - I need the doors wide open to get in and out. And now comes the problem. I was advised (and have passed this advice on to others) to always quote “worst day” when filling in the forms. Being now a month into FES for dropped foot, I find that with two sticks, and a functional FES, I can walk far enough to put me out of Blue Badge criteria. Shall we say in excess of 100 yards.

My new “worst day” is without the sticks and FES when I would be lucky to make 5 yards. There is an “in-between” which was brought home to me today, when the FES battery died in the middle of a supermarket. With frequent pauses, I finished the shop without my wife having to put me in the trolley. It was difficult, but not impossible.

So, I guess that this makes the point - make it easy for some clerk working to a check-list to approve your application. Do not give them any reason to reject.

Geiff

Hi

Sorry for posting anon but I’m about to share personal information which I don’t want more widely known.

Please apply for DLA, I know exactly how you feel, I was initially reluctant to apply for it at the beginning as both my husband and I were both working. This I think is a product of our society where claiming benefits is looked down upon, there are a small minority of benefit cheats but the vast majority of claimants genuinely are entitled to the money.

DLA is not means tested, so it doesn’t matter how much you earn. You are entitled to it! It is designed to help you cope with the financial demands of having a disabling illness (of which there are many). Initially I used it to pay for cleaners, which made our lives so much easier. Now it funds a Motability car, the Motability scheme is brilliant!

DLA is also an important trigger for other ‘help’; for example the Blue Badge scheme and Motability

It is not easy to get so it is diffiuclt to imagine you being awarded it if you are not entitled to it.

Good Luck!

Phone up, request an appointment with an external examiner and get that badge!

I was in exactly the same position as you a couple of months ago. I called up our local department and queried their response which like yours said being on the higher level of DLA would result in an automatic badge, being such a varied condition I said I did not feel that I warranted the DLA but a blue badge was needed whilst I am having a relapse.

I was then booked an appointment to see an external medical professional, on the day of the appointment I was feeling 95% in myself without any fatigue and could walk, talk and see without any problems, but I still went ahead and told the assessor all about my worst days and although these were infrequent a badge was needed during these ‘attacks’ to allow me to pick up medication, shop for essentials and most importantly transport my children to and from school.

She told me the system is very black and white but allowances will be made for people who suffer from MS, Crones and other debilitating conditions as long as you are willing to push for an appointment to explain yourself.

Hi,

I just thought I’d update you on what’s happening. I’ve phoned my local council department and everyone was right and it was the way I filled the form in! It gets fed into a grid which marks each question and then gives a total score and I fell below the required total. Apparently it didn’t help that I filled in the online form because that provides even less room for manouvre.

The man at the council was very helpful but basically said the rules now are that support letters are not acceptable and the only form of appeal is to be seen by an external medical professional (they use a physio) which he is arranging for me. I wish they could see me today because I’m having to crawl up the stairs as my legs are just not working. Actually phoned my MS nurse this morning and she is coming out to see me tomorrow, very lucky where I am, the service is great!

So advice for everyone out there is - don’t use the online application for a blue badge!!

Hopefully I’ll get an understanding external examiner!

Lynn

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Hi, the same thing happened to me last year! I was turned down, they said because I had a temporary condition, if only. My MS nurse wrote a letter for me and in no time I had my badge. I think the people that deal with the badges have no idea about MS and the like. Appeal, you will get it.

Good luck. Marilyn x