The Blue Badge, The White Badge And Concessionary Travel

The blue badge helps with mobility to get you out and about
The blue badge helps with mobility to get you out and about

What is the Blue Badge scheme?

The Blue Badge Scheme provides a national range of parking concessions for disabled people with severe mobility problems who have difficulty using public transport. The scheme is designed to help severely disabled people to travel independently, as either a driver or passenger, by allowing them to park close to their destination. There are strict rules governing the use of your badge.


On 14 February 2011 The Government announced a major programme of reforms to the Blue Badge scheme. These measures have been implemented to help ensure that disabled people have fair and equal access to the benefits the concession offers regardless of where they live, and to address current problems in relation to abuse and misuse of badges.

(See link): National Blue Badge Reform

Where can Blue Badge holders park?

The Blue Badge scheme only applies to on-street parking. Badge holders have free use of parking meters and pay-and-display bays. They may also be exempt from limits on parking times imposed on other users (check local signs for information) and can park for up to three hours on yellow lines (except where there is a ban on loading or unloading or other restrictions).

The scheme does not apply to off-street car parks, such as supermarket car parks, or privately-owned roads, such as those you find at airports.

More information is available from the Department for Transport.

The Blue Badge Scheme helps you park closer to your destination. Apply for a blue badge.

The White Badge scheme only applies to Central London

Applying for a disabled person's concessionary bus pass

England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all have different national schemes to provide free or concessionary travel.




Northern Ireland

Equality Act 2010: Qualifying As A Disabled Person

Obtaining proof of your disability.
Obtaining proof of your disability.

Click here for further ECHR guidance on qualifying as a disabled person.

Equality Act 2010 Guidance Section A: The Definition

Main elements of the definition of disability

A1.  The Act defines a disabled person as a person with a disability. A person has a disability for the purposes of the Act if he or she has a physical or mental impairment and the impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his or her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities (S6(1)).

A2.  This means that, in general:

• the person must have an impairment that is either physical or

mental (see paragraphs A3 to A8);

• the impairment must have adverse effects which are substantial

(see Section B);

• the substantial adverse effects must be long-term (see Section C);


• the long-term substantial adverse effects must be effects on

normal day-to-day activities (see Section D).
This definition is subject to the provisions in Schedule 1 (Sch1).

All of the factors above must be considered when determining whether a person is disabled.

Equality Act 2010 Guidance Meaning of ‘impairment’

A3.  The definition requires that the effects which a person may experience must arise from a physical or mental impairment. The term mental
or physical impairment should be given its ordinary meaning. It is not necessary for the cause of the impairment to be established, nor does the impairment have to be the result of an illness. In many cases, there will be no dispute whether a person has an impairment. Any disagreement is more likely to be about whether the effects of the impairment are sufficient to fall within the definition and in particular whether they are long-term. Even so, it may sometimes be necessary to decide whether a person has an impairment so as to be able to deal with the issues about its effects.

A4.  Whether a person is disabled for the purposes of the Act is generally determined by reference to the effect that an impairment has on that person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. An exception to this is a person with severe disfigurement (see paragraph B24). It is not possible to provide an exhaustive list of conditions that qualify as impairments for the purposes of the Act. Any attempt to do so would inevitably become out of date as medical knowledge advanced.

A5.  A disability can arise from a wide range of impairments which can be:

• sensory impairments, such as those affecting sight or hearing;

• impairments with fluctuating or recurring effects such as rheumatoid arthritis, myalgic encephalitis (ME), chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), fibromyalgia, depression and epilepsy;

• progressive, such as motor neurone disease, muscular dystrophy, and forms of dementia;

• auto-immune conditions such as systemic lupus erythematosis (SLE);

organ specific, including respiratory conditions, such as asthma, and cardiovascular diseases, including thrombosis, stroke and heart disease;

Equality Act 2010 Guidance

• developmental, such as autistic spectrum disorders (ASD), dyslexia and dyspraxia;

• learning disabilities;

• mental health conditions with symptoms such as anxiety, low mood, panic attacks, phobias, or unshared perceptions; eating disorders; bipolar affective disorders; obsessive compulsive disorders; personality disorders; post traumatic stress disorder, and some self-harming behaviour;

• mental illnesses, such as depression and schizophrenia;

• produced by injury to the body, including to the brain.

A6.  It may not always be possible, nor is it necessary, to categorise
a condition as either a physical or a mental impairment. The underlying cause of the impairment may be hard to establish. There may be adverse effects which are both physical and mental in nature. Furthermore, effects of a mainly physical nature may stem from an underlying mental impairment, and vice versa.

A7.  It is not necessary to consider how an impairment is caused, even if the cause is a consequence of a condition which is excluded. For example, liver disease as a result of alcohol dependency would count as an impairment, although an addiction to alcohol itself is expressly excluded from the scope of the definition of disability in the Act. What it is important to consider is the effect of an impairment, not its cause – provided that it is not an excluded condition. (See also paragraph A12 (exclusions from the definition).)

Equality Act 2010 Guidance A8. It is important to remember that not all impairments are readily identifiable. While some impairments, particularly visible ones, are easy to identify, there are many which are not so immediately obvious, for example some mental health conditions and learning disabilities.

Persons with HIV infection, cancer and

multiple sclerosis

A9. The Act states that a person who has cancer, HIV infection or multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disabled person. This means that the person is protected by the Act effectively from the point of diagnosis. (Sch1, Para 6). (See also paragraphs B18 to23 (progressive conditions).)

Equality Act 2010 Guidance Persons deemed to be disabled

A10.  The Act provides for certain people to be deemed to meet the definition of disability without having to show that they have an impairment that has (or is likely to have) a substantial and long-term adverse effect on the ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. Regulations provide for a person who is certified as blind, severely sight impaired, sight impaired or partially sighted by a consultant ophthalmologist to be deemed to have a disability2. (Sch1, Para 7)

A11.  Anyone who has an impairment which is not covered by paragraphs A9 and A10 will need to meet the requirements of the definition as set out in paragraph A1 in order to demonstrate that he or she has a disability under the Act. (But see paragraphs A16 to A17 for details of some people who are treated as having had a past disability.)

Equality Act 2010 Guidance People who have had a disability in the past

A16. The Act says that, except for the provisions in Part 12 (Transport5) and section 190 (improvements to let dwelling houses), the provisions of the Act also apply in relation to a person who previously has had a disability as defined in paragraphs A1 and A2 (S6(4) and Sch1, Para 9). This means that someone who is no longer disabled, but who met the requirements of the definition in the past, will still be covered by the Act. Also protected would be someone who continues to experience debilitating effects as a result of treatment for a past disability.

Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit

You might get Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB) if you’re ill or disabled from an accident or disease caused by work. The amount you may get depends on your individual circumstances.

The level of your disability will affect the amount of benefit you may get. This will be assessed by a ‘medical advisor’ on a scale of 1 to 100%. Please follow this link to apply.

Normally you must be assessed as 14% disabled or more to get the benefit.

Assessed level of disablement










Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit Reporting the accident to your employer or trainer

If you have an accident at work, tell your employer, trainer or someone else in authority at

once, even if the accident does not seem serious at the time.

Most employers and trainers have an accident book. Record the details of the accident in the book as soon as you can. If there is no accident book, tell your employer or trainer about the accident by:

speaking to them, or l writing to them.

You must tell them:
yiour name and address

your job

the cause and nature of your injury, and l the date, time and place of the accident.

If you cannot report the accident yourself, ask someone else to do it for you.

Personal Independence Payment

Getting help with personal care and your mobility
Getting help with personal care and your mobility


To qualify for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) you must be aged 16 to 64 from 8 April 2013 and have difficulty with:

‘activities of daily living’ (see below)


You must have had these difficulties for 3 months and expect them to last for at least 9 months.

Terminal illness

You may also qualify if you’re terminally ill (not expected to live more than 6 months).

Daily living difficulties

You may get the daily living component of PIP

 if you need help with things like:

preparing or eating food

washing and bathing

dressing and undressing


managing your medicines or treatments

making decisions about money

Mobility difficulties

You may get the mobility component of PIP

 if you need help with going out and moving around.

Health assessments

You may get a letter telling you to go for an assessment to work out the level of help you need. The letter explains why and where you must go.


 makes the decision about your claim based on the results of the assessment, your claim form and any supporting evidence you include. Please click here

You will certainly benefit from obtaining your own medical report to submit with your PIP claim form - don't delay and get a medical template report, get a doctor to complete it and send it with your claim.

Employment Support Allowance

ESA is a disability employment benefit to help people into work or support those not in work.  It replaces Incapacity Benefit, Severe Disablement Allowance and Incapacity element of Income Support.
ESA is a disability employment benefit to help people into work or support those not in work. It replaces Incapacity Benefit, Severe Disablement Allowance and Incapacity element of Income Support.

Click here to goto the Department of Work and Pensions ESA website.

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) is for people who:

• can't work because of sickness or disability, and

• aren't getting Statutory Sick Pay.

There are two types of ESA:

• contributory ESA, which you can get if you have paid enough national insurance contributions

• income-related ESA which is paid if your income and capital are low enough.

You may be able to get both contributory ESA and income-related ESA, depending on your circumstances. For both types of ESA, you will usually have to have various tests to confirm that you have limited capability for work.

In some circumstances, you can only get contributory ESA for up to 365 days.

For most new claims, ESA replaces Incapacity Benefit and also Income Support for people getting it because they can't work due to sickness or disability. If you are already getting Incapacity Benefit or Income Support because of sickness or disability, you can continue on that benefit, although your claim will be converted into ESA at some point.

Guidance can also be found here at the Disability Rights UK fact sheet. The detailed Chapter 41: ESA Conditions of Entilement can be found here

You can also get help here completing your ESA50 from the National Association of Welfare Rights Advisers (N AWRA) website. The website has a sample copy of the form which explains the questions you'll be asked and gives examples of what you can include when writing your answers. Additionally, you should consider submitting medical evidence. Click here to access the Leicester Welfare Rights Service medical template. A useful case study briefing is available from Newcastle Welfare Rights for examples of ESA claims by impairment type by clicking here

Social Housing: Medical Priority Status

Disabled persons may be vulnerable people requiring medical priority housing - ask your local authority for medical priority housing
Disabled persons may be vulnerable people requiring medical priority housing - ask your local authority for medical priority housing

Council waiting lists don't necessarily work on a 'first come, first served' basis. There are certain groups of people who must always be given priority. The law calls this 'reasonable preference'

You may also get reasonable preference if anyone in your household:

1. has health problems that are made worse by where you live

2. has mobility problems that make it difficult to get around your home

3. suffers from mental health problems, which is being made worse by your accommodation.

If you include medical reasons in your application, you should give as much information as possible about your health problems and how they are affected by where you are living. Explain the difficulties the medical condition causes in as much detail as you can. The council will normally ask a doctor, health visitor or other expert to assess your medical problems and may use an independent person who does not know you. They may also contact your GP and you should include details of any other health worker or social worker who can support your application.

There are different schemes in England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland. You should contact your local authority of guidelines.

You may need to get a medical report to support your application. Check out the thinkAbility medical template reports.

Accessing Social Care

Social care is decreasing across the country
Social care is decreasing across the country

Some people need extra care or support - practical or emotional - to lead an active life and do the everyday things that many of us take for granted. The government is working to provide a social care system that provides care for those who need it, and which enables people to retain their independence and dignity.

The Department of Health are responsible for the The National Framework for delivering social care which is implemented throughout each local authority in England.

There are different social care schemes in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.



Northern Ireland

Recent developments in social care include the increased uptake of Direct Payments to pay for your own carers by receiving money directly from the local authority. This is also being enhanced with a similar approach to personalising health care in the NHS through Personal Health Budgets