Council U-turn on Blue Badge Case

Today the campaigns team have had some great news from one of our advocacy cases overturning a Council’s decision not to give a University student a blue badge.

 Laura, who has FSH muscular dystrophy, contacted the Advocacy Service after experiencing difficulty in getting a blue badge from her local council. Laura, who is a University student, applied for a blue badge so that she could make use of the parking close to her lectures as she often had difficulties getting around campus on foot being very prone to falls.

 Yet her council refused Laura’s application, and again on appeal. As a consequence of this, and after a particularly severe fall, Laura had to drop out of University to recover. Currently living at home, Laura’s hopes of finishing University seemed to be in serious jeopardy.

 Learning of Laura’s difficulties, and the severe impact not having a blue badge was having on her, has brought the issue of blue badge assessments into focus. As Laura does not receive DLA, she did not automatically qualify for a blue badge and so had to go through an assessment. This assessment, which involved walking a mobility course and demonstrating safe use of stairs, concluded that Laura was not deemed eligible for a blue badge as she was not seen to meet the criteria of being ‘virtually unable to walk’.

 However, as people affected by muscle disease will tell you, the distance you can walk on one day can be vastly different from the amount you can manage on another day. Whilst there clearly needs to be rules in place to stop fraudulent applications for blue badges, it also seems that the assessment process, like so many others, is too inflexible. Consequently it does not take into account the progressive and varied nature of muscular dystrophy and related muscle conditions. This means that people, like Laura, who are really in need of a blue badge are missing out.  

 We are delighted to announce, however, that after contacting Laura’s council and explaining the impact her lack of blue badge was having on her life, the council repealed their decision and Laura has been awarded a blue badge. This is a great outcome for Laura and her family and we very much hope that she will enable her to return to university and complete her degree. 

 If you are having any issues with blue badges or in getting the care and support you are entitled to, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the Advocacy Service by emailing campaigns@muscular-dystrophy.org or calling 020 7803 2853.

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