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Blue Badge scheme and epilepsy

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 park close to their destination.

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 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 or at least 12 points under the ‘planning and following journeys’ activity (Scotland and Wales only)
  • You receive the mobility component of PIP and have obtained 10 points specifically for descriptor E under the ‘planning and following journeys’ activity, on the grounds that you are unable to undertake any journey because it would cause you overwhelming psychological distress. This rule does NOT apply in Northern Ireland

People who may also qualify for a Blue Badge

You may also qualify for a Blue Badge if you are more than 2 years old and have a permanent and substantial disability which means you can’t walk or find it very difficult to walk.

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.

People with hidden disabilities

In England, Scotland and Wales you may also qualify for a Blue Badge if:

  • Walking is dangerous to your health and safety
  • You are constantly a significant risk to yourself or others near vehicles, in traffic or car parks
  • You find it difficult or impossible to control your actions and lack awareness of the impact you could have on others

This has not yet been put into legislation in Northern Ireland but it may be worth applying anyway.

In theory, this should make it easier for people with epilepsy to get a Blue Badge.

For full information visit the gov.uk website or nidirect

What if I am refused?

Your local council will make the final decision about whether you qualify for the Blue Badge. If you think they did not consider all the facts, you can ask them to reconsider the decision.

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, Scotland 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

Northern Ireland
In Northern Ireland, you can apply online. Alternatively you can request an application form by calling 0300 200 7818 or emailing bluebadges@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk. A Blue Badge costs £10.

Epilepsy Action has a list of useful organisations for support with benefits.

Code: 
F128.07

This information has been produced under the terms of Epilepsy Action's information quality standards.

  • Updated April 2020
    To be reviewed April 2021

Comments: read the 2 comments or add yours

Comments

I’ve received a blue badge since 2012. Has brain surgery which didn’t work so still have seizures,, I dont go out on my own now as it’s affected my memory and I don’t think and get confused. Now we moved I’m being refused the renewal and now want to assess me at home. How can I be assessed when I look normal to them, it’s so depressing having to have people keep not believing you. I’ve been sent the council as much hospital information as I can.

Submitted by Lizmarsh on

Hi Liz
It can feel a challenge to explain a hidden disability like epilepsy. Some local authorities might ask you to have an assessment as part of applying for a blue badge. The assessment is done by a health professional and it looks at your ability to carry out a range of mobility activities.
The law for qualifying for a blue badge was changed in August to enable more people with hidden disabilities to apply. So this assessment should take into account how your epilepsy affects you including your risk of serious harm, psychological distress and how difficult it might be to walk.
You might be able to get more guidance from someone like the Citizens Advice Bureau or Disability Rights UK to help you to prepare for your assessment.

Regards
Mags
Epilepsy Action Helpline Team.  

Submitted by Mags - Epilepsy... on

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