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Hidden Disability Changes To Blue Badge Scheme

Hidden Disability Changes To Blue Badge Scheme

People with hidden disabilities will soon be able to get Blue Badge parking permits due to the biggest review of the scheme since it was set up almost half a century ago. The changes will ‘go live’ on 30 August 2019.

The new guidance to the scheme will offer a lifeline to people who often find road travel difficult by providing better access to work and other amenities. It will also help combat loneliness by enabling them to stay connected to family and friends.

The expanded scheme coincides with the launch of a new task force to toughen up enforcement and help councils tackle fraudulent use of the badges. A task group will be set up with key organisations to gather ideas and evidence on how to improve the consistency of council enforcement to tackle fraud and misuse.

The review will also look at ensuring that there is greater public awareness of which groups are eligible for a badge, when it can and cannot be used, and how to surrender the badge when it is no longer needed, for example if the badge holder dies.

While the new criteria will give clear and consistent guidelines on Blue Badge eligibility for the whole of England, not everyone with non-physical disabilities will qualify for a badge but it is anticipated to include people with anxiety disorders and people with autism . It will however be up to the relevant local authority to decide if an applicant meets the eligibility criteria, as is currently the case.

People can apply for or renew a Blue Badge online and by contacting their local authority’s blue badge team . We will be updating our Disability Sheffield Blue Badge Factsheet when details of the changes are available.

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