New Blue Badge rules in England to came into force on 30 August 2019
Last year the government announced its intention to expand the blue badge rules in England to make it easier for people with hidden disabilities such as autism to qualify. However, no date was provided for these new rules coming into force. Now the government has published regulations confirming that these new rules will start to apply from the 30 August 2019. As a result of the consultation, automatic entitlement to the Blue Badge will be extended to those in England who score 10 points under the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) mobility test of being “unable to undertake any journey because it would cause overwhelming psychological distress to the claimant”.
Entitlement will also be extended to those who are assessed as having an enduring and substantial difficulty which causes them during a journey to either:
Be unable to walk.
Experience very considerable difficulty whilst walking, which may include very considerable psychological distress.
Be at risk of serious harm when walking; or pose, when walking, a risk of serious harm to any other person.
The new rules also allow local authorities to use a broader range of professionals to assess the nature and effects of an applicant’s disability on their ability to get around.
Derek Sinclair, one of Contact’s Family Finance advisers, said: “We get many calls to our helpline about Blue Badge entitlement and lots of parents have been left frustrated by the absence of any start date for the new rules.
“The current rules make it difficult for many people with conditions such as autism or learning difficulties to qualify, so many families will eagerly await the new rules in August opening up entitlement for many more children and adults with hidden disabilities.” You can find out more about the different Blue Badge rules in the different nations on the Contact website.
Jamie is 16 and has cerebral palsy. In 2014, he started wheelchair racing and after taking part in his first Race 6 months later he was immediately hooked. That race was the London Mini Marathon. Since then Jamie’s racing career has gone from strength to strength. He just came back from Brazil racing for team GB, with 3 gold medals!
This will be Jamie’s 3rd year racing in the Mini Marathon, and he has decided to race it for the CGF. This is because they have really helped his sister Amber. Amber was much smaller for her age than was expected. When she was 10 her teacher said she needed a special chair for the class as she couldn’t reach the desk. Also, she was wearing aged 5 clothes! So I contacted the CGF as I wanted some advice.
I had tried to talk to paediatricians in the past but they had told me not to give Amber a complex. After talking to the CGF I realised Ambers growth was not normal, and they advised me to take Amber to an endocrinologist. This is where my fight began! Without their help and support, I would have given up. 2 years later Amber started Growth Hormone. This wouldn’t have happened without the help from the CGF.
Jamie has seen how the treatment has really helped Amber and wants to raise awareness of the CGF and help raise a few pounds in the process. Jamie hopes to beat his previous time in this marathon, which was just over 17 minutes, and also hopes that this will mean he will hold the record in his Classification! (Different disabilities have different classifications). Jamie is classed as a T33. Fingers crossed to breaking a record!
All of us here at CGF wish Jamie the best of luck and want to thank him for his amazing fundraising efforts. We hope he breaks that record! His fundraising page can be found here.