Consultation on changes to the Blue Badge eligibility criteria are being forced on the government, rather than being an attempt at inclusivity as minister’s have attempted to claim.
In a hard hitting article, Charities help cover up real reason government announced blue badge changes, the Disability News Service has pointed out that the consultation is the result of legal action taken by a claimant over a year ago.
Announcing the move, transport minister Jesse Norman said:
“Blue badges give people with disabilities the freedom to get jobs, see friends or go to the shops with as much ease as possible.
“We want to try to extend this to people with invisible disabilities, so they can enjoy the freedom to get out and about, where and when they want.”
What Norman didn’t add, however, but the Disability News Service have been quick to point out, is that the DWP are only planning to extend eligibility because of a court case brought by a claimant with autism forced them to do so.
David, an autistic man with learning difficulties, lost his blue badge after 30 years simply because he was forced to move from DLA to PIP. The criteria for blue badges for PIP claimants makes it much harder to qualify if you have a mental, rather than physical, health condition.
David’s legal action has forced the DWP, slowly and reluctantly, to launch a public consultation and change the rules, which discriminate so heavily against claimants with mental health conditions.
Sadly, David himself did not live to celebrate his victory, as his solicitor Louise Whitfield, explained:
“Sadly, my client who brought the judicial review has now passed away, but I will be encouraging all my other clients to respond to the consultation making clear how devastating it has been for them to lose their existing badge and then have to battle for months, if not years, to get it reinstated just so that they can leave their home.”
You can read Charities help cover up real reason government announced blue badge changes on the DNS website.