New Blue Badges for Hidden Disabilities
In August 2019, the Department for Transport issued new guidance to councils on Blue Badge parking permits along with a new online eligibility checker to make the scheme clearer for people before they apply.
The changes now include eligibility for people who cannot walk as part of a journey without considerable psychological distress or the risk of serious harm. This is especially important for those with a hidden disability such as autism, dementia, arthritis or a brain injury. For some people, the thought of not being able to find a suitable parking space can make leaving the house extremely challenging.
The new guidelines are a welcome change towards better understanding and acceptance of non-visible disabilities. The badges will offer greater freedom to those who have previously found travelling by road difficult and should help with social integration by offering a greater connection to social events, family and friends. For many, knowing that they will have a parking space will encourage them to leave the home and engage with people, rather than becoming isolated and cut off.
Hopefully the increased demand for the badges can be met efficiently. The government has promised to provide an extra £1.7 million for the first year of the programme but it remains to be seen how quickly they are able to issue these much needed additional badges. Surely the scheme can only become a success if there is also an increased number of allocated disabled parking spaces, this must now become a priority for local authorities.
You can check your eligibility and apply for or renew your blue badge here: https://www.gov.uk/apply-blue-badge
This news will help to improve the lives of many who are suffering from invisible injuries, such as a brain injury. It will help to promote their ability to live independently. This will allow survivors to maintain their hobbies, social commitments and ability to work. It will mean less dependence on carers, less financial strain when relying on taxis and may help to boost self-confidence.
At Bolt Burdon Kemp we specialise in assisting those who have suffered a brain injury due to medical negligence or an accident that was not their fault. Our focus is to help our clients achieve the best possible outcome for their claim. To do this, we assess each client’s needs and identify how we can help meet them.
Often, mobility can have a huge impact on anyone who is recovering from a brain injury. Whilst this latest news will go a long way to helping those who struggle with independent travel, we continue to work with our clients and their families to ensuring that compensation is provided to allow them to get back on their feet.