Blue Badge Scheme - Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the Blue Badge Scheme?
- Special rules for children under the age of 3
- How do I apply for an organisational badge?
- What does ‘subject to further assessment’ mean?
- What is an Independent Medical Assessment (IMA)?
- Can I appeal against the decision to refuse a badge?
This is a national scheme intended to allow those with the most severe mobility issues park close to amenities which they would otherwise be unable to access without great difficulty. In January 2012, new guidelines were issued by the Government to local authorities and as a result the way in which Moray Council assesses for a blue badge has changed.
This will ensure that badges are only issued to those who really need them will reduce their misuse. If you do not automatically qualify for a badge, you will now need to demonstrate that you meet the strict criteria. All applications will be assessed in a similar way in order to ensure the scheme is applied fairly and consistently throughout the UK.
As a result of the changes in legislation, a number of people who previously qualified for a badge may not qualify under the new system. It should therefore be noted that previous issue of a badge does not guarantee it will be renewed. Assessment for a badge is related directly to your ability to walk and will not be granted on the basis of age or the need to have a wider space to fully open a car door.
Further information can be found at Transport Scotland.
If you’re the parent of a child who is younger than three years old, you may also apply for a Blue Badge. Your child must have a specific medical condition which means that they either:
- must always be accompanied by bulky medical equipment which is very difficult to carry around.
- need to be kept near a vehicle at all times to get emergency medical treatment for that condition when necessary.
On receipt, all applications are logged by the team administrator and identification checks carried out. Those meeting the automatic criteria above will be processed and the applicant issued with a badge. All other applications will be treated as ‘subject to further assessment’.
These applications will be assessed and scored, then cross checked with other community care services you may have, such as home care and Occupational Therapy. We may also contact other health professionals currently or recently involved with you to obtain further information and verify details of the application. Depending on the score of this desk based assessment, your application will be:
- Passed for Independent Medical Assessment (IMA)
If your application is approved it will be processed and your badge issued.
If your application is refused, we will send you a letter telling you why you have been unsuccessful.
Where your eligibility is unclear from your application you will be required to attend The Independent Living Centre within Moray Resource Centre in Elgin for a mobility assessment. This will be carried out by a qualified Occupational Therapist and will involve a demonstration of your walking ability over a short distance. You will be asked about your medical conditions and how they affect you, any medication you take and the help you need to get about.
You will also be offered an Occupational Therapy assessment to help you remain as independent as possible. The assessment typically takes about 30 minutes but may last up to an hour if you wish to discuss other difficulties you have.
Following your assessment, the information will be reviewed and a decision made as to your eligibility for a Blue Badge. You will be notified of this in writing and if unsuccessful, the letter will include the reasons why. If your application is successful the Blue badge team will be advised and they will arrange for your badge to be issued.
Where your application has been unsuccessful, and you are unhappy with this decision, you must notify the Blue Badge team in writing within 28 days of your notification letter. Where your decision was made without an IMA you will be invited to attend in person for an assessment as outlined above. Where you have received an IMA, the assessment will be reviewed by a more senior therapist and again you will be notified of the outcome in writing, including the reasons if you are unsuccessful.
If you remain unhappy with this decision, you must again notify the team in writing within 28 days of receiving your review outcome letter. This will then be passed to the community care appeals panel for a senior management decision. Where the decision to refuse is upheld, there are no further rights of appeal.
You can also re-apply after three months if you feel that your mobility problems have become more serious since your assessment.
If you are unhappy with the manner in which you have been dealt with by any of the team rather than the decision itself, then please ask a member of Moray Council staff for a copy of our complaints procedure.
Moray Resource Centre