Claimants who should be automatically entitled to a new Blue Badge are being left in misery because of the DWP’s  backlog of PIP reviews..

Benefits and Work is hearing from members who are facing a choice between paying repeated fees for short term renewals of their Blue Badge or having to complete a form and provide evidence which one member described as being ‘worse than applying for PIP’ and which does not guarantee they will get the badge they should be automatically entitled to.

The problem is being caused by the enormous backlog of PIP reviews, with the DWP now using software which extends PIP awards repeatedly when they are close to ending, if a review has still not been completed.

Automatic Blue Badge

Some claimants automatically qualify for a Blue Badge.

This includes people who are awarded the PIP mobility component because:

  • they can’t stand and move more than 50 metres and are awarded 8 points or more for ‘moving around’, or
  • because they cannot undertake any journey because it would cause overwhelming psychological distress, descriptor E under ‘Planning and following journeys’.

Claimants who don’t automatically qualify have to provide evidence to show their eligibility for a Blue Badge.

The problem claimants who should qualify automatically are encountering is that many local authorities require proof of the end date of a claimant’s PIP award before they will issue a Blue Badge.

If PIP is being awarded on a repeated short-term basis then claimants may either not have proof of the end date of their award or they will only have proof that it has been awarded for a few months or less.

Without any proof of an end date, no automatic Blue Badge will be given. 

With proof only that an award will last say three months a claimant may have to pay £10 for each renewal and may have to wait a large part of that time for the new badge to be issued.

Members’ Blue Badge problems

We have received feedback and forum posts about this issue from members and it is clearly one that is of growing concern.

One member told us:

“I sent my renewal form back in May 2021 and the DWP have put me in a queue for an assessment even though the only change to my chronic health issues has been the introduction of long covid. 

My blue badge expires at the end of June 2022 when my award runs out and my local authority will not give me a badge unless the DWP supply me with an end date award.

I have spoken to DWP who said that they cannot help me. The agent asked his manager if he could speed up my assessment and he refused. I have been told that as I put covid issues on my form that I have been placed in a different format for assessment.

I told the agent that I filled the form in in May 2021 and that I am almost free from the effects of covid. I have also been informed that I will receive PIP on a rolling month basis until an assessment is carried out. I have received DLA now PIP since 1996 and I will not get any better.

Have I any other way to address this issue as I will soon not have any access to shops etc if I do not have a blue badge.  My local authority have not been much help as they state that they require an end date reward from the DWP who will not supply me with a letter of explanation.”

Another member told us that when faced with the same problem they filled out an application form for a Blue Badge.

“I was given regular repeated 3 month extension letters of award by dwp ( if I chased up) but the problem was you then had send for a blue badge for only 3 months at a time and pay £10 each time, and it said it took nearly that to apply.

I asked the council what to do, so they said fill out the form as if you don’t have PIP (so without passporting), and send in the 3 month letter and explanation letter. This was Gloucestershire council. They processed it and sent me a 3 year one, without assessment and in about a fortnight.”

But one member decided to manage without a Blue Badge for the time being rather than attempt yet another complex and stressful period of form filling:

“I then went on line to apply for my blue badge via local government (council) website.

I filled out the form best I could, and received an email with the councils blue badge award criteria. Well its asking for tons and tons of evidence, etc. Worse than applying for pip if you ask me.

So I'm going not send off evidence, I’m going to let the application expire, and they will reject my blue badge application.

Then hopefully when my pip has been decided etc, I will then reapply for blue badge under the PIP criteria.  The councils criteria seemed more stressful in regards to obtaining evidence, than PIP itself. and lots of the criteria never applied to me. like cancer, oncologist, do you have a Macmillan supporter etc.”

For some members, a short-term award was worth the cost:

“I encountered exactly the same problem last year.  I took photos of my extension award notice plus a photo of my ugly mug and applied online (this was after a phone call to my council blue badge department advising me to do so) and I got my badge after paying online via an e mail link I was sent.  It was only a short extension, can't remember how long for, but not much more than six months, and I duly got my badge.  It's up to you as to whether a 'short fix' will do for now and is worth the £10 admin fee, but at least my local council were fine with it.”

Have you had difficulties with getting your Blue Badge renewed because of the PIP backlog and how did you deal with them?  Let us know in the comments section below.

You can read the full Blue Badge criteria on the .gov website

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  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Macavity · 2 months ago
    Macavity

    I can understand why they are in a mess. Apart from centralising everything to London, It used to be quick when our own councils processed the badges. What is annoying is if you have a progressing condition that PIP have finally agreed with, plus others that they have decided to accept, they have given me PIP for 10 years with a light touch renewal in my case, and I got a blue badge back for 3 years. So the next one will not cover me for the rest of the time of the PIP I have and there will be 2 years left. Just utter, bumbling crap.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    jinglis · 2 months ago
    My PIP award and blue badge were both nearing expiry when covid arrived. DWP wrote and advised a 12 month extension and I wasn't too concerned about my blue badge as I wasn't going anywhere. Approx 6 month into the extension period I got a DWP review form to be completed. I don't think I'd ever had this "review" form before, but i got it completed and sent it off. I had a lot of hospital appointments coming up, and thought i'd really benefit from blue badge. I've always used my PIP award as my evidence for my badge but no longer have one. i tried the online form via council , i did get a reply looking for evidence which again i couldnt provide.  i tried just keeping the old badge and explaining situation but security guard in hospital had me in tears so I gave up. I'm scared to contact DWP about the review. At least my payments haven't changed but what if they look up my review if i contact them and they've somehow downgraded me. I just couldn't cope. 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    DES KING · 3 months ago
    No wonder there is a problem with backlog i got my assessment for pip renewal 4 years late i was on indefinite award.the girl i live with had hers first she has MS and was on indefinate award too,after hers she got 10 year light touch.after mine i have MS damaged spine,neither will ever get better diabetes and high blood presasure.i got a letter 3 year review morons.i appealed after i got a letter saying they were waiting for my spine operation i phoned them to be told they were waiting for outcome of spine operation as i told the woman im already past criteria for highest level anyway she said would sort out,then got another letter saying would still wait to see if my spine got worse(not better) appealed  and complained about the useless service.then one saturday got a call thought was a scam at first spoke to first sane person from the department said she was a senior supervisor she said to me read your file why did they not just move it up as you way past criteria we do not give life time awards but in cases like yours we just do 10 year light touch she said would sort i was bit sceptical but on the tuesday got a letter swapping me to 10 year light touch.all that time wasted on my account this why they so far behind its being run by unskilled morons coffrey being biggest one.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Terry · 3 months ago
    I have Epilepsy & I did apply for a Blue Badge through my local council, South Gloucestershire, only to get told that I didn't qualify for one.
    I have support workers twice a week & a diamond buspass.
    Is there a reason why I cannot claim for one, after reading Fionas note below
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Fiona · 3 months ago
    My daughter has autism, learning disabilities, epilepsy and speech and language disorders. She has had a blue badge since she was 5 years of age.
    On applying for a renewal under the new rules, I was told she does not meet requirements.the woman whom came to this decision said that my daughters condition would improve!
    i appealed with the help of my daughters Social Worker and the decision was changed immediately. 
    My daughter was born disabled, and I find it utterly frustrating that idiots like this woman thought she knew best and ignored all the evidence in front of her nose, and acted like she was the judge and jury!
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Steve · 3 months ago
    In our area the issues are compounded by the additional layer of red tape provided by the County Councils.  In Carmarthenshire the council take on average 90 minutes to answer the telephone. Then we they put you through to the department, you get a recorded message that says (even now) because of Covid many staff are working from home which will cause a delay.   

    Really two years plus, the whole world is moving on and working around Covid but not the county councils.  My wife lost (stolen through the window) her badge at the start of the year and we are still waiting for a replacement. 

    Blue Badge processing is just one of many tasks that needs to be taken away from the inept County Councils, centralised with each home country having a single point of contact and a person whom could be held accountable.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Nicky - Blue Badge/PIP Strugg · 3 months ago
    I am in the same position, I sent my PIP renewal form in 20th July 2021, called in Oct 21 to get update, told it is with a caseworker, called again in November, told it was with a case manager and will be reviewed soon, called Decemeber they said again, with a case manager and that my pip has been extended to March 22, so my claim does not stop. So in December my blue badge was extended to 26th March 22. Continued calling pip for update, Jan 21, Feb 21, was told its being looked at and an assessment date will be sent out shortly, call again March 21, now to be told still with case Manager and PIP now extended to 24th June 22. My blue badge ran out 26th March, everytime I called pip, from October I stressed about my blue badge, my support worker called, explained my situation. Pip said well we have sent a letter out, stating it has been extended to June 22 and local councils are aware and will be accommodating. This was so far from the truth, Birmingham City Council refused to help, were rude, kept asking for an end date from PIP, I explained there is a backlog and it keeps getting extended, I need my badge as I am unable to get out and about with it. No joy. After my 7th call to Blue Badge dept, I was told to just make a claim for it directly from them. Then comes the long form and all the stress of what is needed in order to be eligible . This has been so stressful. I have finally sent information in, now waiting. Its now May and it has been a struggle to go anywhere. This is just ridiculous and unfair, we are being penalised for a situation that is beyond our control. Not happy at all.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Susan coates · 3 months ago
    If you phone pip about 3 in the afternoon after not getting any answer the phone rings then when you 5hink you got through the phone goes dead 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    REC · 3 months ago
    I was on DLA and had to move to PIP, I put in my form and had the assessment (which said I walked in with no issue - despite being a wheelchair user and coming to the assessment in my wheelchair) and was then awarded standard mobility and no care (from DLA higher mobility, lower care). I asked for a mandatory reconsideration and after much back and forth with the DWP I  was awarded enhanced PIP mobility and care. During this time both my Blue badge and free buss pass ran out. I completed the council form for both and simply attached the simplified written statement I had given in my PIP application. I paid the £10 and shortly later I had my bus pass and Blue badge. My main issue was that my car needed to be taxed and going from higher DLA to standard PIP meant I had to pay 50% car tax (£75). Eventually on reconsideration my PIP was awarded to the higher mobility rate but I did not receive a refund for my car tax.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    G Heath · 3 months ago
    I’m in the same position with extension till March next year but luckily my local council advised me to go through the doctor root as they would give a badge for 3 years and wouldn’t have to rely on pip. Applied and got a badge within about 4 weeks for 3 years. 
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Robert · 2 months ago
      @Sheila Hello Sheila,
      Request your GP provide brief written confirmation that you have a confirmed diagnosis of ‘x’ and that your mobility is limited. He/she will address it to : “To whom it may concern”.
      Your local council should then issue you with a discretionary Blue Badge for a three year period.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Sheila · 2 months ago
      @G Heath Hi 😊 
      You mentioned you went via gp route. How do you do this please.
      I am in pip review I'm told its 6 month wait for response.
      I am finding distressing as blue badge application say required new pip documents,  which I still don't have.

  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Ronnie · 3 months ago
    I am in the same position as everyone else on here I sent my PIP review in September 2021 still waiting for a decision to be made as for my blue badge that expires at the end of July 2022 but I have applied to my local council and have gone down the non PIP route and have received a new blue badge that is valid for 3 years so I'm pleased with that. 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    AnneH · 3 months ago
    My PIp award finishes in July. I received an email from the council reminding me that my Blue Badge runs out then. As I have not heard from the DWP re my PIP renewal claim I thought I would have all the stress of getting a Blue Badge without being on PIP. I decided to request a paper application instead of online. This they sent within a couple of days. I asked my gp for a summary of my medical record which was done within a couple of days. I sent the application by Special Delivery and the next day they rang to say they had received it and processed it and my badge will be with me in the next couple of days. I had to pay £10 for it but that applies to everyone. I would advise anyone who is waiting for their PIP renewal to apply for it without PIP. I cannot fault my council. The service was excellent. 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Bruce · 3 months ago
    I was on DLA and just missed the cut off date due to age, so had to move to PIP. Which I got for 4 years. So I got a 4 year blue badge to replace my 5 year one. Due to Covid I had been informed my PIP would be extended for several month past the date my blue badge ran out. I contacted my council and they said I did not need PIP just a letter from my doctor. I contacted them and they said they do not do letters for blue badges. It looked like I was going to have to do without for a period. Then I had a letter from the DWP giving me a couple of weeks to renew my claim. I sent this off and got an answer almost immediately. Due to my age I am now on an ongoing award. I put in for my badge and they sorted it pretty quickly, so I was only without for a few days.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    pip sucks · 3 months ago
    my pip is currently been renewed as the award expires in june, my blue badge expires in june this year, so ive had to go down the reneweal stages for both, my council have just told me, that they can see on the system that the dwp (behinde the scenes, dpw have not notified me of this) have the dwp (pip) have put a one year extension on the system while my pip is been reviewed, and the council can issue me a blue badge for a year!

    or if i want to i can down the none pip route to get a 3 year badge, with a gps letter

    why are the dwp extending my pip for a year (while its been renewed) and not even notifying me of this, this is not the same as them only giving me pip for another year, they are extending it by a year while its been reviewed.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Sharon · 3 months ago
    My Husband has been waiting over 6 months for his PIP renewal to be looked at , we sent the forms back on time at the DWPS Request, so rang them as we had heard nothing and the only , communication we has was that they have received the forms and it will be looked at. This had to be sent to them back in August 2021 it is now May 2022 ! He has other health issue now which we had to add to the application. The whole experience is a shame, we have a government , that does not listen to it own people , price  increases in every direction and wages again still do not cover this , its no wonder we have gone back to so many people in poverty. It is a shame when MPs can take a £2000 + pay rise each year ! why not put it back into the system for those people who need it the most. For those of us who have paid into the system for the 35 years required it is a joke ! 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Karen · 3 months ago
    I am in a very similar position . My PIP review was submitted 18th August 2021 . I calledDWP at Christmas only to be told that there was a 6 month delay in processing/assessments . I received my blue badge renewal letter last week so called again and was then told the wait was over 12 months . They kindly generated a letter to say that the claim was still ongoing and it would be until it was settled . I duly sent this off to Camden ,my local authority and this was rejected saying that they needed an actual date for the extension.  So I called DWP again this morning and they said that nearer the time of my claim end that the system would automatically generate an extension .
    So do I wait or go to my GP and get them to send a letter . I camt be without my blue badge ,I rely on it heavily!
    The lady I spoke to said that the DWP were telling local authorities of this problem but I'm not so sure the info is getting there! 
    HELP!
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Elaine Ward · 3 months ago
    I believe most councils are becoming the same as DWP wanting proof of this that and the other when originally a GP letter would do to qualify for a blue badge. I just had mine renewed to 24t Sept 2024  but the local East Riding council were very picky about what proof they needed I like the first time I applied in 2018
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Angela · 3 months ago
    I had the same. My PIP award had been extended to August 2022 but my Blue Badge expired at the end of Nov 2021
    I applied for the new badge and could have gone through the assessment process but in the meantime had received my PIP review form. I couldn’t face a double assessment process and just paid up the £10 for a Blue Badge till Aug 2022.
    My review was a paper based one in the end and I stayed on the same PIP award till 2024. Hopefully by the time the award ends I will get soft reviews as I will be an OAP 
    the Blue Badge fiasco was Durham County Council 
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Rob · 1 months ago
      @Angela Borough Councils are responsible for Blue Badge applications if you wish to complain.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Talulah · 3 months ago
    My blue badge runs out at the end of May. I live on a street with double yellow lines and the nearest parking without my badge is two blocks away up a hill. The deadline for an independent blue badge application is tomorrow and i just found out the professional i was waiting for a letter of support from has been taken to hospital, so i have no evidence. Going to have to get out the original PIP evidence from years ago. Not sure what else to do. This is a nightmare. I’m going to be trapped in my own home and won’t be able to take my dog out either (i have a walker but not every day). However my council have put me as a priority application and are doing their best for me but i need some evidence! I need them to extend the deadline but i they won’t do that.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      AnneH · 3 months ago
      @Talulah Hi Talulah, I applied for my Blue Badge renewal without relying on PIP. My council allows you to apply for it if you have mobility problems without receiving PIP. I just asked my gp receptionist for a letter but she said they dont do them. Instead they print off your medical record. I sent this with a report of a recent MRI scan which showed damage to my cartilage. Ask your council if you can apply like I did. It was very straightforward. Good luck.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Pat · 3 months ago
    I am the same as my pip runs out in January 2023 even so I have had a short reassessment letter from the dwp (why it's been sent this early I have NO idea - if anyone knows why they have done this could you let me know please) anyway 9 weeks ago I sent in an application to renew my badge as it ran out in April, I still have not received my badge, I have paid full price for a short term badge and am still waiting. This is Gloucestershire Council. The process in applying for the badge is very distressing and 10 times worse than a passport application- why do they need all information again and again  when pip is being received and they already have everything they need from previous applications as my situation is not going to change in the near or far future!

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