These pages are about benefits in the UK. If you are looking for information about benefits in another country, please contact your local epilepsy organisation
What is the Blue Badge scheme?
The aim of the Blue Badge scheme is to help disabled people who have severe mobility problems to access goods, services and other facilities. This is done by allowing them to park close to their destination.
Most people with epilepsy would not be entitled to a Blue Badge, unless they also have severe mobility problems. You might be entitled to a Blue Badge for your child if they are under 3 (under 2 in Northern Ireland) and they have severe epilepsy.
The Blue Badge scheme is UK wide but there are some differences in how the scheme is run in different parts of the UK. To check how the scheme works in your area contact your local authority or follow the links at the bottom of this page.
What will I get?
A Blue Badge can be used to park for free in places such as on-street disabled bays and at on-street parking meters and pay and display machines. The badge should only be used when the badge holder is driving or a passenger in the car, or being collected or dropped off. Where and how it can be used varies slightly depending on where you live.
The scheme does not apply to private car parks, but many private car parks do provide free parking for Blue Badge holders.
The Blue Badge can also be used in many European countries.
Can I get a Blue Badge?
These are the eligibility rules that are likely to be most relevant to someone with epilepsy. For more information about qualifying for a Blue Badge in your area contact your local authority.
People who automatically qualify for a Blue Badge
You automatically qualify for a badge if you are over 2 years old and meet at least one of the following rules:
- You receive the higher rate of the mobility component of the Disability Living Allowance
- You receive the mobility component of Personal Independence Payment with a score of at least 8 points under the ‘moving around’ activity (England, Scotland and Wales) or at least 12 points under the ‘planning and following journeys’ activity (Scotland and Wales only)
People who may also qualify for a Blue Badge
You may also qualify for a badge if you are more than 2 years old and have a permanent and substantial disability which causes inability to walk or very considerable difficulty in walking.
If you think you come into this category, you will need to show that you have a permanent and substantial disability which means:
- You are unable to walk or
- You are unable to walk very far without experiencing very considerable difficulty. This may include excessive pain and breathlessness, or a deterioration of health brought on by the effort needed to walk
The decision on whether to award you the Blue Badge will be based on your ability to walk, not your particular condition.
Your local authority is responsible for deciding whether you qualify. They may ask you to have a mobility assessment with a medical professional. This could be a physiotherapist or occupational therapist.
Special rules for children under 3
In England, Scotland or Wales you may qualify for a Blue Badge if your child has severe epilepsy and is under 3. In Northern Ireland you may qualify if your child has severe epilepsy and is under 2.
How do I get a Blue Badge?
How you apply for a Blue Badge depends on what part of the UK you live in.
England and Wales
You can apply online or contact your local authority for an application form. To find the relevant contact details at your local authority, enter your postcode at gov.uk/blue-badge-scheme-information-council
Where can I get help with benefits?
Provides a free online benefits calculator and grants search tool to help you find out what financial help you are entitled to.
Helpline: 0808 802 2000
Citizens Advice provides advice to everyone on their rights and responsibilities. Check the website or your local phonebook for details of your nearest Citizens Advice service.
Telephone advice in England: 0344 111 444
Telephone advice in Wales: 0344 77 20 20
Find your local Citizens Advice Bureau in Scotland
Find your local Citizens Advice Bureau in Northern Ireland
Disability Information and Advice Line services, run by and for disabled people. They may be able to refer you to someone who can help you fill out claim forms for benefits (provided there is someone in your area).
Helpline: 0808 800 3333 (to find your local group)
This website has lots of information about all the different benefits that are available.
Disability Rights UK
This website has a number of free factsheets you can download. It offers basic information about benefits, tax credits, social care and other disability-related issues for claimants and advisers.
Welfare Rights Unit
Welfare Rights Units give free advice and support on benefits. Some can also help with completing claim forms and appealing benefits decisions. Contact your local council to find out if they have a Welfare Rights Unit. To find your local council visit gov.uk/find-your-local-council
This website has lots of information about the benefits that are available in Northern Ireland.
Offers information, advice, advocacy and representation for people in Northern Ireland.
Helpline: 0800 988 2377
If you would like to see this information with references, visit the Advice and Information references section of our website. If you are unable to access the internet, please contact our Epilepsy Action Helpline freephone on 0808 800 5050.
This information has been produced under the terms of The Information Standard.
- Updated November 2016To be reviewed November 2017