Changes to assessment for Blue Badge applicants

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Aberdeenshire Council is issuing a reminder that the way Blue Badge applicants are assessed has recently changed.

Blue Badge applicants who do not automatically qualify for a badge may be asked to attend a special clinic for an independent mobility assessment.

Previously, medical information was provided by the applicant’s GP.

However, new legislation means that mobility assessments must be carried out by an independent mobility assessor and who has professional expertise in mobility.

This change will only affect those applicants where it is unclear from the application form that they meet the criteria and further evidence is required.

If an application for a Blue Badge is subsequently refused, then a clear explanation of the grounds for refusal will be given to the applicant.

The new rules are part of a range of new government regulations relating to Blue Badges in an attempt to cut down on fraud and ensure only people in real need are able to benefit from a Blue Badge.

Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Social Work and Housing Committee Councillor Karen Clark said: “The changes will mean that some people will be referred to an independent mobility assessor when they apply for a badge.

“This is to make sure those most in need get a badge and that they are assessed by a person who is trained in assessing mobility needs.”

“This will only apply to people under the unable to walk or virtually unable to walk assessment criteria. If they are seen at the time of their first application, the assessor may decide that they will not need to be assessed again at renewal time.”

Vice Chair of Housing and Social Work Committee Councillor Alisan Norrie added: “The blue badge scheme is designed to help severely disabled persons, either the driver or a passenger, to park close to their destination.

“It is important everyone is made aware of the changes to the assessment process.”

Aberdeenshire Council has a FAQ on their website to answer questions people might have about the changes to the Blue Badge Scheme at

www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/care/getting_around/bluebadge/FAQs.asp