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Care Guides > How To Apply For a Blue Badge | Are You Eligible?

How To Apply For a Blue Badge | Are You Eligible?

Disabled badge holders only sign

If you or your loved one are disabled or have a health condition that limits your mobility, you may be able to apply for a Blue Badge. This benefit scheme allows you to park nearer to your destination.

Follow the advice on this page to learn more about what a Blue Badge is, whether you’re eligible, how to make a Blue Badge application and when to renew.

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In this article:

  1. What is a blue badge?
  2. Who can get a blue badge?
  3. Applying for a blue badge online
  4. What happens after you’ve applied?
  5. What should you do if your application is rejected?
  6. How to renew your blue badge

What is a Blue Badge?

If you’re disabled or have a mobility-limiting health condition, you can apply for or renew the Blue Badge scheme. You can also apply if you care for a child with a health condition that limits mobility. You don’t need to be able to drive to apply, unless you’re applying because of problems with your arms.

A Blue Badge can grant you exemptions from some parking restrictions while also giving you access to designated parking spaces.

This badge is for your use only. For example, if somebody else is picking you up or dropping you off, they’ll be able to use it, but you can’t lend it to someone to go and run errands for you.

If you get certain benefits (such as some care home benefits), you’ll automatically be eligible.

Councils can charge up to £10 for a Blue Badge in England and up to £20 in Scotland, while they’re free in Wales.

Contact your local council to learn more about the Blue Badge scheme.

Where can I park with a blue badge?

Holders are exempt from certain parking restrictions. They’re allowed to park:

  • Free of charge at on-street parking meters and in Pay and Display bays
  • On single or double yellow lines for up to 3 hours (except where there’s a ban on loading or unloading)

Some local councils place additional restrictions on Blue Badge holders. With this in mind, you should check with the local council in the place you’re travelling to understand what their rules are.

This scheme also doesn’t apply in certain London boroughs, as these have their own parking rules.

To find Blue Badge parking bays across the UK, use the GOV.UK website for council information.

Disabled parking sign at a hospital

Who Can Get a Blue Badge

Here are the main circumstances where you automatically qualify:

  • You have a permanent and substantial disability that means you’re unable to walk or have considerable difficulty doing so (you may have to be assessed by a physiotherapist or occupational therapist to show this applies to you)
  • You’re registered as blind
  • You get the higher rate of the mobility component of Disability Living Allowance (check your decision letter if you aren’t sure about what the mobility component is)
  • You get War Pensioner’s Mobility Supplement
  • You received a lump sum benefit through the Armed Forces Compensation scheme (tariffs 1 to 8) and have been classed as having a ‘permanent and substantial’ disability

If you get Personal Independence Payments (PIP)

You also automatically qualify if you either:

  • Scored 8+ points in the ‘moving around’ part of your Personal Independence Payment assessment
  • Scored 10 points in the ‘planning and following journeys’ part of your Personal Independence Payment assessment and were put in Category E. Being in this category means stress, anxiety or similar mental health issues stop you from leaving the house

If you aren’t automatically eligible

If you don’t automatically qualify, you may still be eligible if:

  • You have long-term difficulties caused by walking or going to different places. This includes problems caused by stress, anxiety or similar things linked to mental health
  • You have difficulty using both your arms
  • You’re applying on behalf of a child aged over 2 who has considerable difficulty walking or going to different places, or a child aged under 3 who needs to be close to a vehicle due to a health condition

Applying For a Blue Badge Online

You can apply for or renew your Blue Badge online through GOV.UK.

Some councils also let you apply using a paper form - contact your local council to check.

You have to apply through your local council. They might also arrange an appointment to visit you.

When applying, be aware that only your local council or GOV.UK can issue you a genuine blue badge.

Before applying, make sure you have the following documents and information:

  • Your National Insurance number (or child reference number if you’re applying for a child)
  • The number, expiry date and local council on your current Blue Badge (if you’re applying for a renewal)
  • Your original decision letter from the Department for Work and Pensions (if you’re automatically eligible)
  • Details surrounding your medical condition (if you aren’t automatically eligible)
  • Proof of identification, such as a passport, driving licence, birth certificate or marriage certificate
  • A Council Tax bill from the last three months for proof of address
  • A photo of the person the badge is for (taken using a digital camera)

Depending on what you put on the application form, you may need to provide extra information, including the medication you take and treatments you receive, as well as letters from health professionals. The local council may carry out further assessments to decide if you’re eligible.

Filling in the application if you aren’t automatically eligible

If you don’t automatically qualify, you’ll need to fill in an extra part of the application form explaining why you need a badge.

This application process is slightly more complex. You can contact your nearest Citizens Advice for any help.

When applying by post

If applying by post, send copies of your documents rather than originals (in case your application is lost in the post).

You’ll need to get the copy of your proof of identification checked by a professional such as a solicitor. Some people might charge to certify a document.

They should sign the copy and write on it:

  • The words ‘This copy is a true likeness of the original’
  • Their name, address and occupation
  • The date

What Happens After You’ve Applied?

It might take a while for your application to be processed. We’d recommend contacting your council if you haven’t heard back within 6-8 weeks.

After applying, you might be asked to do a mobility assessment. Here, a health professional will see how able you are to carry out a range of mobility activities. They’ll then tell your council whether they think your health condition limits your movement enough for you to require a badge.

You may also be asked to provide extra information or speak to someone at your local council.

How long does an application take?

Depending on your council and whether you require any further assessments, it can take up to three months to process your application. Be sure to ask how long it’s likely to take when applying.

What Should You Do If Your Application Is Rejected?

If your application is refused, your local council should provide a reason for this. If you feel as though important information was missed, you can ask them to reconsider their decision.

The decision letter from the council will let you know how to ask for a review and how long you have to do so.

If your mobility problems increase, you can also re apply.

How To Renew Your Blue Badge

If you’re a current blue badge holder, this will need renewing after 3 years. You’ll also need to reapply for a badge if you no longer get the benefit your badge is linked to.

You can renew your Blue Badge online through GOV.UK (or check the expiry date).

You can also renew your badge through some local councils using a paper form. Get in touch with your local council to check if this is possible.

If you no longer require your badge (such as if your condition improves), you must give it back to the council. You could be fined up to £1,000 if you don’t.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What medical evidence do I need for a blue badge?

Evidence should be provided by a professional who knows your condition. Examples of evidence could include a letter of diagnosis (as up-to-date as possible), documents showing the progression of your condition over time, confirmation of ongoing treatments, care plans, evidence of other benefits received, Personal Independence Payment decision letters or letters from other professionals involved in your care.

What medical conditions qualify for the blue badge scheme in the UK?

You may qualify if you have a permanent disability which means you can’t walk or have considerable difficulty doing so. The same is true if you have a disability in both arms. There are also several ‘hidden disabilities’ that may make you qualify. Some of the most common include depression, anxiety, autism, ADHD, coeliac disease, Crohn’s disease, epilepsy, cystic fibrosis and agoraphobia.

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