2019 Blue Badge scheme: Hidden disability changes introduced
This is most definitely the biggest shake up to the Blue Badge Scheme since the 1970’s, and a great one too. The changes show a massive movement towards recognising and raising awareness around invisible disabilities, as well as ensuring people with hidden disabilities get the support they need to live independently.
The changes came into force on 30th August 2019, but what exactly are the changes and how may they affect you?
The biggest change to the scheme is that people with hidden disabilities, including Autism and Mental Health issues will have access to the Blue Badge Scheme and will have the same rights to park in disabled bays as those with physical disabilities.
What is a Hidden Disability?
The term “Hidden Disability” captures a whole spectrum of conditions, ranging from mental health issues such as depression to physical disabilities which don’t necessarily require the use of wheelchairs or crutches, including lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
Some of the most common “hidden disabilities” include:
Who can apply for a Blue Badge?
Those who will be eligible under the changes include:
Those who cannot make a journey without “a risk of serious harm to their health or safety” or that of others, including young children with autism
Those for whom journeys cause “very considerable psychological distress”
Those with considerable difficulty walking, which covers “both the physical act and experience of walking”
How to apply for or renew a Blue Badge
Check your eligibility and apply for a Blue Badge here. https://www.gov.uk/apply-blue-badge
A Blue Badge costs up to £10 in England and £20 in Scotland. It’s free in Wales.
You’ll need a recent digital photo showing your head and shoulders. You’ll also need a photo or scan of your:
proof of identity (such as a passport or driving licence)
proof of address (less than 12 months old)
proof of benefits (if you get any)
You’ll also need to know: