Blue Badge application


Hello all, I recently completed an application to renew my Blue Badge, and it became clear that it was designed by someone who has little understanding of the problems encountered by people with various forms of arthritis.

The questionnaire is almost solely based on how able a person is to walk and how far.

I find walking on an uneven surface agrevates my spine and hips very quickly so I walk every day around a couple of football pitches nearby. I have a 9 year old German Shepherd and we do this walk 5 days a week.

So according to the questionnaire I do not qualify for a Blue badge. My biggest problem is getting in and out of a car, I need to have the door wide open to be able to get in and out. Parking in a normal space makes it near impossible to get in or out without experiencing excruciating pain.

I raised the matter with the Minister for Transport with the Scottish Government and got a very dismissive reply.

The Blue Badge questionnaire needs to be brought up to date with input from organisations who have the knowledge to design a suitable form.

I will be interested to hear others thoughts.


  • YvonneH
    YvonneH Member Posts: 1,076

    Good morning @Charlie72

    Thanks you for joining the Online Community today, it's great to meet you. Applications for any of the help available to people with disabilities is always difficult, don't give up though, where you can write extra make sure you explain clearly what you need and why and back this up with as much evidence as you can. Photos could be helpful too in your situation. If you are unsuccessful maybe take your paperwork to your local MP so they can see the difficulties you are facing.

    While you are here please take time to look around the community. On Living with arthritis we have posts from many members who live with arthritis, I'm sure you will be able to find a couple of tips for your situation, if not, start a new discussion to ask your question!

    Take care

    Yvonne x

  • wazz42
    wazz42 Member Posts: 233

    Hi @Charlie72

    I had to help my mum very recently to fill in her application for a Blue Badge. It certainly wasn't easy, the form was only online, all our county could manage apparently. The questions didn't very well fit in either but Mum wrote what her problems were in full every time there was an opportunity to do so. Some of the fields were 100 characters only. They made the mistake of ringing mum up so she gave them her life story including why she couldn't walk very well or far on a regular basis. In a way we were lucky because my mum had a bad fall ending in hospital and so the care and repair had already fitted hand rails etc. Lots of the questions were 'none of their business' and if mum had been on her own she certainly had no chance of ever getting it done.

    I hadn't thought of complaining but I will now thank you.


  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,720

    In the interim, always try to park on a corner where you can open the door wide.

    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • Meh
    Meh Member Posts: 2

    Hi Charlie, read your comments with interest. I am thinking of applying for a blue badge, more or else for the same reasons. I try to go for a walk every day, but because of back and hip arthritis getting in and out of a car is a nightmare. At the moment I always try to park away from everyone else, but my heart sinks when I get back to my car and find someone has parked right next to me!!

  • Mike1
    Mike1 Member Posts: 1,992

    My baby sister applied for a blue badge as she has stage 4 OA in both knees as well as neck and back, she stated that she could walk with aids to her village shop which is only about 250 yards from her place but that she needed to stop a couple of times en-route, she also needs a wide space to get in and out of the car; the Council measured the distance on Google maps and turned her down for the badge.

  • pmas
    pmas Member Posts: 43

    Sorry, pressed ‘post’ too soon.

    Unfortunately I think some Councils have different criteria so it’s a little bit of a postcode lottery. People with long term needs are able to apply but the ‘walking’ rules are very strict. I think you should be able to apply for a temporary Blue Badge which would be so helpful given the long waiting lists for surgery. Trying to get in and out of a car in a narrow space, when both hips need replacing is no fun.

  • Darko74
    Darko74 Member Posts: 8

    Hi, might be better to speak to your gp and ask them for a letter in support of your application, may be the thing to change their mind as I too have seen these forms and yes I agreed they need updated a lot just doesn’t encompass all the conditions that there are now. Good luck 😉

  • alexander1
    alexander1 Member Posts: 70

    I didn’t think I would qualify at the time but when I had my F2F pip assessment the assessor asked why on earth I hadn’t applied.

    it is in most places about needing to be close to where you are for mobility. Unfortunately if you can walk around a field you wouldn’t qualify.

  • KathP
    KathP Member Posts: 2

    I had the same experience as the poster although I couldn’t walk around a football pitch. I was on sticks and crutches for 4 years but it was getting out of the car that caused the most problems. I once tried 6 parking spaces in the hospital car park and had to give up. I applied for the blue badge as directed by my doctor , went to the assessment centre and was asked to walk 50 yards and when I explained the door problem she didn’t even ask me to demonstrate. I got the badge 5 days later. I no longer use it as thanks to biologic I am in remission.

  • Rushy
    Rushy Member Posts: 4

    A few years ago I applied for a blue badge for my 90 yr old mum. She didn't drive, I took her to hospital appointments etc. She had dementia so dropping her at the entrance before finding a parking place would have been a nightmare. She was able to walk (albeit slowly). I stated this in the application and badge issued without any problems.

  • Sheelee
    Sheelee Member Posts: 153

    Sounds like they are following the criteria that they use for PIP etc. Like you say, it doesn't take account of those things that only someone having to cope with everyday life with this difficultly knows.

    I once saw a physio I was referred to so I could get some help in using a walking stick. I had found the sideways slants of pavements really difficult ( the camber). The physio didn't have a clue what I was talking about, and they are trained to work with people like us. All he could offer was a straight, flat corridor. Ummm. Not quite the way the most of the real world is!!