The new blue badge criteria including non-visible (Hidden) disabilities allows for people who:
- are unable to walk; or
- experience very considerable difficulty whilst walking, which may include very considerable psychological distress
- or who are at risk of serious harm, when walking, or pose, when walking, a risk of serious harm to any other person
Eligible for a blue badge without further assessment
As part of this criteria, people who receive Personal Independence Payments at 10 points in descriptor E - the "planning and following a journey" part of the Mobility award, which is: people who "Cannot undertake any journey because it would cause overwhelming psychological distress" or "significant mental distress" will be automatically entitled to a blue badge.
Please note that only 10 points will be accepted and the applicant will need to provide evidence of this benefit. No other descriptor will qualify and if an applicant receives 12 points they will not be automatically entitled to a blue badge. Further explanation of this can be found on the Department for Transport website under running a blue badge parking scheme.
An example of the qualifying PIP award is shown below.
Eligible for a blue badge with further assessment
If a person is applying online (or a representative is applying on a persons behalf) they must select that they are applying due to a Non-visible (hidden) disability then the appropriate questions will appear. All applicants applying under this criteria will need to provide medical professionals evidence which clearly supports the answers to the questions. Without this, the application will not be approved.
Evidence includes medical professionals letters, letters from consultants or specialist, Occupational therapists, physiotherapist, psychotherapists or other professionals who can confirm the diagnosis or clarify the issues facing a person when taking a journey and the elements of the psychological distress the applicant experiences.
The type of circumstances where a person may qualify for a blue badge is if a person has dementia, Alzheimer's or is on the autistic spectrum to such a level that they: are unable to walk or refuse to walk altogether. They drop to the floor or becoming a dead-weight. They ignore, do not understand or disobey clear instructions. They experience very severe or overwhelming anxiety (e.g. through hypervigilance). They experience an overwhelming sense of fear of public/open/busy spaces or they experience serious harm or cause harm to others.