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8.7 Blue Badge Scheme - Issue, Refusal and Renewal

AMENDMENT

This chapter was significantly amended in March 2012. It should be re-read in its entirety.


Contents

  1. Criteria
  2. Other Key Points
  3. Passport Style Photograph Requirements
  4. Refusal of Applications
  5. Renewal of Applications
  6. Procedure for Customer Service Centre
  7. Procedure for Disabled Children Service


1. Criteria

  1. All Car Badges are issued through the Disabled Children Service;
  2. There are strict criteria for the issue of badges (as set out in the government regulations), which are that the person is over two years of age and:
    • Receives a higher rate of the mobility component of the disability living allowance in accordance with Section 73 of the Social Security and benefits Act 1976; or
    • Is registered blind under section 29(4) (g) of the National Assistance Act 1948; or
    • Has a permanent and substantial disability which causes inability to walk or very considerable difficulty in walking;

      In addition a child under 2 will meet the criteria where:
    • On account of a condition, s/he must always be accompanied by bulky medical equipment which cannot be carried around with the child without great difficulty; and/or
    • On account of a condition, s/he must always be kept near a motor vehicle so that if necessary treatment for that condition can be given in the vehicle or the child can be taken quickly to a place where such treatment can be given.

2. Other Key Points

An organisation may also be issued with a badge in relation to any vehicle to be used to carry disabled persons who meet the above criteria.

  1. The Badge will be issued for three years or, for a child under 2, it will be expire the day after the child's second birthday;
  2. A charge of £2 is made for the issue or renewal of a badge or for a duplicate to replace a lost, stolen faded or mutilated badge;
  3. Assessment for a car badge in relation to a child will be included in the child's Generic Assessment.


3. Passport Style Photograph Requirements

  1. The photographs should be a passport size and must be a recent true likeness of the person for whom the badge is issued. It is the applicant's responsibility to provide the photograph. It would not be expected for a person with facial deformities to produce a photograph;
  2. In no circumstances should a Badge be issued without affixing a signed photograph (unless approved as an exception see note 7) and after a £2 administration fee has been paid;
  3. An official receipt should be issued for monies collected (see financial procedures).

NB:  PLEASE NOTE THAT IF A PARTIALLY SIGHTED APPLICANT APPLIES FOR A BADGE ALL CORRESPONDENCE SHOULD BE SENT OUT ON BRIGHT YELLOW PAPER AND IN BOLD TYPE.


4. Refusal of Applications

  1. The decision to refuse a badge may be made on the basis of the ineligibility of the applicant or on the grounds of misuse. The badge must be improperly used on three occasions in circumstances which either resulted in a conviction or the issue of a fixed penalty notice, or where the rules governing the use of badges have been clearly contravened.  Records of information should be kept when it is established that action is called for, the badge holder should be notified in writing that their entitlement is likely to be terminated unless the misuse ceases forthwith.  The badge should then only be withdrawn if the holder subsequently persists in breaking the rules;
  2. (Section 2 of the Disabled Persons Act 1981 inserted a new Section (86a) into the Road Traffic Regulations 1967 to make able bodied people who masquerade as Disabled Person's car badge holders, in order to take advantage of the concessions, liable to a specific offence with a maximum penalty of £200, in addition to any penalty imposed for the ordinary traffic offence already being committed.  The new offence is not subject to a fixed penalty notice system and offenders will be prosecuted in a Magistrates Court);

    It is also an offence under Section 35 of the Road Traffic Act 1991 Section 21 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970 of displaying a Disabled Persons badge when driving a motor vehicle on the road unless the badge was issued and displayed in accordance with regulations;
  3. A badge may be refused if the local authority has reasonable grounds for believing that the applicant is not the person who he/she claims to be or that the applicant will permit another person to display the badge on a vehicle;
  4. Any decision to refuse a badge must only be made after a careful consideration of all the facts and must not be taken lightly;
  5. All the badges remain the property of the issuing authority and that authority may take any such action as may be appropriate to recover a badge which the holder is liable to return.


5. Renewal of Applications

  1. Car badges for those over 2 expire 3 years from the date of issue, at which point an application should be completed for renewal of the badge;
  2. A system should be established whereby badges due to expire are identified a month before the expiry date, and the client provided with an application form for renewal;
  3. No car badge should be renewed without the client completing a further application form, which is then assessed against the eligibility criteria;
  4. Where it is decided to renew a car badge, the replacement badge should be renumbered with the number given on SSID. (Registration ID number);
  5. A further £2.00 charge and passport sized photographs are required with all renewed badges;
  6. The client is required to return the old car badge when allocated the replacement;
  7. Clocks should not be re-issued with every badge that is renewed. However, a Disabled Persons Car Badge Leaflet should be issued with every badge.


6. Procedure for Customer Service Centre

  1. The client should attend their nearest customer service centre to apply for a Blue Badge, with all relevant information to support their application, as well as a recent photograph, or apply online on the Department of Transport website;
  2. If an application form is completed online, the client will be asked to attend their nearest customer service centre. On application, checks should be made whether the applicant is known and a decision matrix completed to ensure eligibility;
  3. If the client does not automatically qualify for a blue badge, a referral will be made to occupational therapy services for an assessment;
  4. If a client presents at the Customer Service Centre with an eligibility letter and photographs a £10 fee can be collected;
  5. An official receipt should be issued for the £10 collected (see finance manual for issuing receipt and banking of monies received). For banking purposes, monies should be coded against S71102 93223.


7. Procedure for Disabled Children Service

1.

Applications can be done online at (Department of Transport website), or at the nearest customer service centre.

The client should be directed to the Disabled Children Service.

On receipt of completed form checks should be made whether the applicant is known and an enquiry should be made out.  Log details on database.
2. If the applicant meets the criteria, the badge may be issued (go to Step 8)
3.

Refusal on the grounds of ineligibility

  1. If Section 3 or 4 has been completed and the applicant is shown not to be eligible, a letter of refusal should be issued, setting out the reasons for the refusal, i.e. why the applicant does not meet the criteria, which must be signed by a manager in the Disabled Children Service. Any such decision must only be made after a careful consideration of all the facts and must not be taken lightly. Advice should be sought from the Policy and Practice Development Officer before a final decision is made.  The applicant must also be advised of his or her right to appeal - see Appeals Procedure;
  2. If an applicant is refused a badge and re-submits an application within a 3-month period, they should be advised to make an appeal under the Appeals procedure.  If the client's eligibility has changed, then the application should be considered;
  3. If Section 3 or 4 has been completed and shows that the applicant might meet the criteria due to the fact that they are unable to walk the distance prescribed, then the client must be seen if not known to the team, to enable an assessment to be undertaken.  If known, information must be sought from appropriate key worker to enable a decision to be made.
4. In cases under 3 (iii) above, a letter requesting further details should be sent to an appropriate professional e.g. Health Visitor, School Nurse, Physiotherapist, Occupational Therapist, where deemed necessary. This is likely to be in those circumstances where there are doubts following the assessment of the applicant. In these circumstances, one of the above-mentioned health professionals should be approached rather than the person's GP so as not to compromise the GP/patient relationship.
5. If in the process of deciding whether a person meets the Disabled Persons Badge criteria, it appears that the person has other needs that fall within the thresholds for service, their circumstances may be referred for an appropriate assessment. This may only be undertaken with the consent of the applicant.
6.

Refusal on the grounds of misuse

Where it is known that a badge has been improperly used, the client should be notified in writing that his/her entitlement is likely to be terminated unless misuse ceases forthwith.

All correspondence and associated information should be retained on the client's case file.

If it is decided to refuse the issue/renewal of a badge on the grounds of misuse, a letter of refusal should be issued, setting out the reasons for the refusal, which must be signed by a manager in the Disabled Children Service.  Any such decision must only be made after a careful consideration of all the facts and must not be taken lightly. Advice should be sought from the Policy and Practice Development Officer before a final decision is made. The applicant must also be advised of his or her right to appeal - see Appeals Procedure.

7. If the criteria are met, the application form should be endorsed and a fee and photograph requested if not already provided. Once these are received, the badge may be issued.
8. When received, the passport photographs should be endorsed by the client and member of staff, signing on the reverse.
9. An official receipt should be issued for the £10 collected (see finance manual for issuing receipt and banking of monies received). The receipt number should be recorded on the application form and checklist form. For banking purposes, monies should be coded against S71102
10. The Car Badge should be prepared by logging the details on the Northgate system. Northgate will then send out the blue badge directly to the client.
11. N.B. In the case of lost, stolen, faded or mutilated badges a duplicate badge should be issued and a charge of £10 made. 
12.

Renewals

The renewals for the following month are to be extracted from AIS.  A listing should be kept of those persons to whom a letter/application form has been sent, and as applications are returned, they should be shown as such on this checklist. Clients who require renewals, and currently have old-style badges, will be sent a pro-forma letter and be requested to apply for a new badge 12-14 weeks prior to the badge expiry. Where an application for renewal is not returned after two months, steps should be taken to cancel the registration.

End