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Blue Badge change date set for 30 August 2019 Main Image

Blue Badge change date set for 30 August 2019

Thu 20 Jun 2019

Long-awaited changes are being made to the eligibility criteria for Blue Badges in England. After significant lobbying from Headway and numerous other disability charities, the scheme is being expanded to include hidden disabilities.

The Government is responsible for legislation/regulation and local authorities are responsible for implementation and administration of the scheme. New guidance for local authorities has now been issued by the Government, with the changes due to come into effect on 30 August 2019.

Here are some of the key points from the guidance:

Where an applicant’s eligibility for a Blue Badge is being considered because of a ‘non-physical’ disability, such as the hidden effects of acquired brain injury, the local authority may not require an in-person assessment with the applicant. However, there may be exceptional cases where certification by an ‘expert assessor’ is considered necessary or appropriate; either in addition to, or in place of, the collation of insights from health/social care professionals such as specialist nurses of social workers.

Pages 138-143 of the guidance (link above) includes a pro forma for use by health and social care professionals when submitting a supporting statement for an application. If you are applying for a Blue Badge, for yourself, a member of your family or someone you care for, you may wish to ask for a supporting statement from staff at your local Headway or other health or care professionals who know the applicant.

The guidance in England follows similar changes to the scheme in Scotland and Wales. You can find out if you qualify for a blue badge elsewhere in the UK using the links below:

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Headway - the brain injury association is registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales (Charity no. 1025852) and the Office of the Scottish Regulator (Charity no. SC 039992). Headway is a company limited by guarantee, registered in England no. 2346893.

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