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 or people with health conditions 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 go to the government website or contact your local authority.

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 still be used in some European countries. Check the government website for details.

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 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

Scotland

In Scotland you are also automatically eligible if at least one of the following applies:

  • You scored 12 points in the ‘planning and following journeys’ part of your mobility assessment for PIP
  • You previously received the higher rate of the mobility component for DLA indefinitely
  • You have had a mandatory reconsideration for PIP accepted by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) In this case you would be eligible for a 1 year badge

Wales

In Wales you are automatically eligible if you scored 12 points in the ‘planning and following journeys’ part of your mobility assessment for PIP.

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 a child under 3

You may qualify for a Blue Badge if you have a child under the age of 3 with a medical condition that means the child must always be kept near a vehicle in case they need emergency medical treatment.

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
  • You regularly have intense and overwhelming responses to situations causing temporary loss of behavioural control

These reasons should make it easier for people with epilepsy to get a Blue Badge.

These have not yet been put into legislation in Northern Ireland but it may still be worth applying.
For full information see the gov.uk website or nidirect.

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. A Blue Badge costs up to £10 in England and £20 in Scotland. It’s free in Wales. It may take up to 12 weeks for the council to decide about your application. Once you get a Blue Badge it usually lasts for 3 years.

Northern Ireland

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

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.

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

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 freephone Helpline on 0808 800 5050.

Code: 
F128.08

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

  • Updated April 2021
    To be reviewed April 2022

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