Blue Badge Rules Changing to Include Hidden Disabilities

The UK government will be implementing the biggest change to the Blue Badge disabled parking scheme since its inception in 1970 from Friday 30th August 2019. People with less visible disabilities may now be able to access Blue Badges and benefit from accessible parking spaces in the UK.

Who can apply for a Blue Badge now?

This year, the criteria for Blue Badge eligibility will be changing. The UK government is extending access to Blue Badges for people with hidden disabilities and not just immediately visible mobility problems. This will include people with autism, anxiety, or dementia amongst other mental and psychological conditions. As well as individual adults, parents can apply for a Blue Badge if they have a child with one of the newly eligible conditions. Under these new rules, a person qualifies for a Blue Badge if:

  • They receive 8 or more points in the “moving around” part of the PIP mobility component assessment
  • They get the PIP mobility component and also receive 10+ points in “planning and following journeys” due to “overwhelming psychological distress” during this activity
  • They take an assessment deciding whether they can make a journey without the risk of serious harm, considerable psychological distress, or difficulty walking (not just physically)

What are people saying about the new Blue Badge rules?

Many people are happy about these changes because it will make life easier for lots more people. The Minister of State for Disabled People, Justin Tomlinson, described this change as “a watershed moment” for people with hidden disabilities because it makes it easier for them to be independent. Jane Harris, the director of external affairs at the National Autistic Society, also said that it will be “life-changing” for people with autism especially. Many charities and organizations are praising this development, but are also wary about how well it will work. Ceri Smith from Scope, the charity for disability equality, said that there is more to be done to ensure that there are enough Blue Badge parking spaces for everyone who needs them. Kat Humble of Autistic UK agreed, stating that there is a lot of room left for improvement in this area regarding discrimination and fraud as well. Accordingly, the UK government is providing £1.7 million to councils to help them to cope with the demand for Blue Badge services. There will also be a new task force for cracking down on Blue Badge fraud, which can improve the availability of spaces.

How do you apply for a Blue Badge?

The new rules will apply to Blue Badge applicants from 30th August this year. You can easily apply for a Blue Badge online or renew a Blue Badge online here. However, you must be able to provide scanned images of the required documents and the requested details like your National Insurance Number. You can find out more about other ways to apply for a Blue Badge here. A Blue Badge can cost up to £10-£20 around the UK.

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Call the ESA helpline on 0843 596 3686 if you’re eligible to apply for Employment Support Allowance and unable to work.

ESA, or Employment Support Allowance, is a government benefit to help people who are not able to work due to illness or disability. Or if they do want to work, ESA can help them with getting work if they are able to. If you are eligible for the new benefit Universal Credit, then you might not be able to claim ESA. You can apply for ESA whether you are working or not. This is a guide on how to apply for Employment Support Allowance.

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Call the Social Fund on 0843 178 4097 to learn how to apply for a Budgeting Loan.

Crisis Loans are no longer available from the government, but there are still plenty of options for emergency financial support. If you have been on certain benefits for six months, then you could apply for a Budgeting Loan. You will have to pay it back, but the loan can help with immediate living costs. Read this new guide to find out how to get a Budgeting Loan.

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How to Stop Family Allowance

Call the Child Benefit line on 0843 557 3383 to stop Family Allowance today.

Family Allowance is the previous name for Child Benefit, which changed in the late 1970s. You can find out how to claim Family Allowance here. If you are already claiming this and you want to stop Family Allowance, then read this guide. You can also learn why you would need to stop it.

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Maternity Pay for Unemployed

Call the Maternity Allowance helpline on 0843 178 4195 to see if you can claim.

Pregnant people who are in employment can usually claim Statutory Maternity Pay from their employer. However, if you do not qualify for SMP, then there are other options for financial support when you are having a baby. The type of benefits that you can claim and the amount that you can get will depend on your circumstances. Read this guide to see which benefits are available if you are pregnant and unemployed.

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