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

Comments

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  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Ann sullivan · 3 months ago
    My award had been extended till May next year so I have managed to order a badge until then , however I now have my new award which is until May 2025 which means next year I will have to pay again
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Graham · 3 months ago
    I applied for a blue badge renewal on behalf of my Wife who has been disabled for more than 30 years. But because her PIP review was due in 12 months time, I was advised by Norfolk County Council that they would only issue a blue badge valid for 12 months, and we would have to re-apply in 12 months. However, someone must have over ruled this decision as they did in fact issue a badge valid for the usual 3 years.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Martin · 3 months ago
    Had same problems they gave me 3mth extension then 3more and finally got my reward for 5or6 yes each time paying £10 so it cost me £30 for the priverledge 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Wendy Mills · 3 months ago
    My pip was extended to this year, filled out my form sent it back, still waiting for the answer. I can only have my blue badge for 12 months as no further date on my pip
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Liss · 3 months ago
    I was issued a  a Blue Badge for 3 years but too scared to apply for my  change in circumstances regarding my mobility as my difficulty was ignored when awarded PIP and worried they will stop payments and forcing me to appeal again 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Ann · 3 months ago
    Be careful when filling in a benefits form, swimming was recommended for my condition, but when they asked if I walked from the changing room to the pool, I said yes, that stopped me from getting disability, and denied my blue badge!! 
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Talulah · 3 months ago
      @Ann You need to appeal. They constantly pull stuff like that and we can’t let them get away with it. They hope you will give up and not appeal.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Jo · 3 months ago
    Got 2 parking tickets due to this it's been a nightmare having extra things placed upon me when I am unwell they should have done something regarding this I went 6 months without a badge.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Ino · 3 months ago
    My PIP was extended for a couple of months last November and my blue badge was also extended for those months.
    Then when I asked for the badge to be extended my local council sent a form to fill in that is more like the PIP form - frustrating!
    I was then asked to go for an assessment which was face to face and stressful! 
    I've yet to get feedback almost 3 weeks on!
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Ino · 3 months ago
      @Ino Finally got my blue badge (after assessment which was face to face and had me tested on mobility). Took almost a month but at least extended for 3 years!
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Mandy Gibbs · 3 months ago
    I had repeated hassle getting my Blue badge re newed.
    My review was delayed for pip due to Covid 19.
    I was diagnosed with Cancer just as we hit lock down in 2020.
    So had enough to deal with.
    I ended up paying twice for a Blue badge for 3 months.
    On the 3rd time I had my review by then and kept my points and could claim a Badge and paid another £10.00.
    I said to the staff
    I used to pay £10.00 for 3 years blue badge.
    Now I have paid £30.00.
    He said its Not much to pay
    so I can park anywhere.
    I said It was a Lot as living on sick benefits.
    My review is due again next year.
    Am dreading my Pip and blue badge review.
    They get worse each time.

  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    G · 3 months ago
    My blue badge runs out in October. Still no news on PIP.  This will disadvantage my PAs via social services who have to take me to health appointments as they will not be able to park where there is room for me to transfer to my wheelchair and further for them to push it.  Hardly fair on them.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      AnneH · 3 months ago
      @G Hi. I got my Blue Badge without relying on my PIP claim. My council allows you to apply if you dont get PIP but have mobility problems. The form was nothing like as complex as the PIP form (I thought it would be). They processed my form the day after they received it and said I'd receive my badge within a couple of days. I was pleasantly surprised at how straightforward the process was.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Christine Iddenden · 3 months ago
    Yes I have had problems with Blue Badge renewal.  It seems that if you have low rate mobility pip you are not automatically entitled to a badge.  I applied to renew and only got one till the date of my pip review even though I had 3 years before.  I advised them that I would be left without a badge whilst the renewal went through.  Their suggestion was to apply 3 months in advance like now and state you are waiting for review.  Once you have it done they can then issue the badge as application will have been made.  Or you can apply through the route as normal without pip.  Hope that makes sense. 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Sue · 3 months ago
    My PIP has been extended twice during Covid and I was sent a new Blue Badge in the post which was quite unexpected! I am retired and on the 10 year review, if that makes any difference?
    I feel I have been very lucky after reading other comments.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Pauline · 3 months ago
      @Sue I think it is all down to which your authority you come under. I now have the 10 year 'light touch' review after having to pay the £10 yet again (they would only issue a new one for the initial 6 month extension and told me I had to apply and pay again). After submitting my evidence it was granted for the usual 3 years.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    CMAnonymous · 3 months ago
    This might make me unpopular but I am a Case Manager making decisions on reviews for PIP. Before you lynch me let me just say that I am completely sick of the way people are being treated on this benefit. The last count of the queue mentioned above was over 150,000, that’s why no numbers are mentioned!
    As well making decisions, and I always do my best to support what the claimant is saying, I look at Further medical evidence and correspondence received tasks. In the past two days I have seen three letters pleading for a decision so a blue badge or scooter can be claimed. The official steer is, as it’s local authority managed or motability is we won’t get involved. My wife has a blue badge and is renewing it at the moment, it’s very stringent due to abuses in the community. The easiest and best way is to get a PIP decision and my department just isn’t delivering.
    The whole system is a mess, there aren’t enough assessors, trained decision makers or processes in place to fix this. I asked my manager what we are going to do the other day, they asked their manager who asked further up, no one has a plan.
    I urge anyone in this situation to write to their MP and tell them how much it’s affecting them. The only time our department ever changes is when we lose a court case or an MP gets involved. With enough weight behind this things might change.
    I care a great deal about the rights of disabled people and strongly believe that everyone should get the help they need, right now PIP is failing you and it’s heartbreaking.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      davjg · 3 months ago
      @CMAnonymous Thanks for your honesty.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      G · 3 months ago
      @CMAnonymous CMAnonymous, if it is any consolation I too do not blame you case workers, we know who is to blame but sometimes chronic pain and fatigue after 4 hours waiting in a phone queue when struggling to hold a phone, it's enough sadly to make us feel tetchy, I suspect most people would do too.  I know sometimes it can make people sharp but we do understand it aint you :) By the same token I have had the phone answerers who are clearly stressed out too and some very tetchy, enough to make me back off from speaking out as ptsd means it can be days of anxiety daring to pick the phone up in case I get 'the one' ... Let's all understand each other a little :)
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Tess ward · 3 months ago
      @CMAnonymous It's nice to know some people working fir DWP do actually care..because most of the time it really diesnt feel like that x 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Pat · 3 months ago
    When I renewed my blue badge I was only given a year but still charged £10. A few weeks later I got a letter saying my PIP had been renewed indefinitely, at least 10 years.  I contacted Barnsley Council but they wouldn’t extend my 1 year saying I’d get 3 years next time 🙈🤬
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Fiona · 3 months ago
    Would people who are refused blue badges by their local council first put in a formal complaint stating if it is not renewed they will be going to the local government ombudsman, secondly if the council do not resolve the complaint in their stated time frame for resolving complaints, take it to the Local Government Ombudsman. This is free. The DWP took away my higher rate mobility and while I was fighting them on that I managed to renew my blue badge, sending in my medical evidence to the council and threatening them with the LGO.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    orderlykat · 3 months ago
    My PIP was extended and my blue badge expires May I was invited to reapply which cost me £10 but it’s only for a year! Then I have to reapply again costing another £10 which I shall be appealing having to pay again
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    M Taylor · 3 months ago
    I sent back my review forms in June 2021 and my award ended on 24th April 2022. When I hadn't heard back from PIP by the end of January I rang them and was told that I wouldn't need an assessment this time but that my case was still with a decision maker. 
    My council say that until a decision has been made they can't issue a blue badge and that when I do get a decision there is a 13 week wait for a badge.
    My badge ran out last week so I'm now stuck in the house until a decision is made.
    Luckily, the 2 hospital appointments I have this month are both telephone ones.  I don't know what I'll do next month though. I can't afford to pay for my Motability car and taxis to appointments.

  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Julie davis · 3 months ago
    My PIP assessment has been put back from January 23 to October abs I will be having the same problem with my blue badge so think I will start the ball rolling now instead of waiting 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Mark F · 3 months ago
    I've always had to make do without a blue badge every few years when my PIP is reviewed; when it ultimately has to go to a tribunal as they score me with the usual insufficient points. It's the same old story with my free national bus pass. Last time my appeal was in the tribunal system for 20 months and I estimate this cost me around £2000 in bus fares and parking charges. It's outrageous. The DWP should be reimbursing these costs if they can't process claims in a timely manner, not to mention interest on all the back-pay. Heads should be on stakes for crimes against vulnerable!!
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    SelinaLaurie · 3 months ago
    My PIP award and Blue Badge were out of sync.
    So I applied as if I had no PIP award.
    However I attached an explanatory note saying what I was doing and why.
    I included my PIP award letter and photocopies of all previous blue badges.
    I filled in the form as needed and the answers will be relevant to any PIP renewal.
    I was approved without any phonecalls or assessments. 
    I have been awarded the standard 3 years that blue badges are issued for.
    So it is possible and relatively stress free.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Barbara C. · 3 months ago
      @SelinaLaurie Yes I agree, my husband had the same problem and I also did the same as you and badge was sent through within a few days.  Our local council who send out the badges suggested I do the same as you have done and it was pretty straight forward.

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