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.
    Alison · 3 months ago
    Waited for a tribunal, which turned into a reassessment.  I was lucky , I suppose,I got a blue badge for another year, but at my age that only feels like a few weeks! My mum gets high AA ,but the process of applying put her off. 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Ash6f6f · 3 months ago
    I had to pay 3 times in 2 years for my blue badge as pip was extended the dwp did not tell me I had to call to be advised and asked them to send out letter confirming they did that one month later then a week after that I got another letter to tell me they are now reviewing my pip I had just paid for another badge for the year that they had extended then once I got my review completed I had to send the blue badge a further payment to cover for my new reward how ever that badge runs out a year before my pip so will have to pay again to cover for 10 months and then wait to get a review completed again and at that point should all ho well will again have to pay blue badge to seems to me to be a scam by councils to get more money 
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Phil · 2 months ago
      @Kate The council will claim the charge is to cover the administrative cost of producing the badges, etc., but they don't care that if you're entirely reliant on disability benefits  £10 is a lot of money.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Kate · 3 months ago
      @Ash6f6f Have to agree on that.  It’s quite disgusting that councils make you pay for the privilege of having a blue badge.  I am more frustrated now more than ever because Blue Badges are being dished out by staffs county council to those folk who do not have a physical mobility issue (Autism/anxiety)….there are limited disabled bays where I live and they are being taken up by people without physical mobility issues.  I am unable to walk far and sometimes use a wheelchair.  I need a space close to my destination as possible WITH space for me to open the door fully.  Personally I think that the Blue Badge scheme should be in two tiers to allow for this.  I probably won’t bother with another one when mine expires….I will just struggle.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Ann Sullivan · 3 months ago
    I had an extension until next year , but they have now sent the review forms . I mislaid the letter, I rang pip waiting a hour and half for them to answer the phone . I asked for a copy of the extension letter. Agent replied I’ll check if I can send you that then said they could do hoping it doesn’t take months to arrive  
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Tracey · 3 months ago
    Renewed my badge with Suffolk council a few weeks ago, about 10weeks before it expired. No issues. Completed online form, explained my pip end date had been extended and they said it would be fine as they would be checking with DWP. Received the new badge four weeks later. 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    MrFibro · 3 months ago
    Hi to all,

    I was too had found myself in this dilemma.  Whereupon my blue badge was due to run out, and I had not heard a peep from PIP / DWP about my review, which was nigh on a year due for the decision.  Moreover I had also phone dwp up about the blue badge problem, but to be honest it was like talking to two thick planks.  So yeah basically i got nowhere with the dwp, a total waste of my time (55 mins to get through all for nowt)

    Person on the phone was pathetic, never had a clue about council blue badges etc.

    So this is  what I did - 

    I applied for a renewal blue badge through my council ( not dwp pip route)  rather through my councils 3 year route.

    I filled out the form online, and then was able to save the documents to go back into .

    But i didnt i sent the whole lot off to my local council, basically the same information they wanted on my last blue badge renewal.

    This was passport, drivers licence, rates tax etc.  I must admit the councils form was quite extensive compared to getting via pip.

    I was not convinced that that i would get my 3 yr award from the council due to some of the questions on the online form.  I was finding it too difficult to relate to some of the questions.

    So the next morning i rang the councils blue badge department, and i spoke to a lady there.

    I explained to her my plight, and the problems i was facing with my pip renewal, hence me not getting my blue badge.  I also told her i had no other choice but to apply direct to the council online, and i found some of the questions were too ambiguous for me.

    She said to me theres been tons of people phoning up who are in the same boat as me, and it was nationwide.  She asked me a few questions, and i explained to her all i can give as evidence is basically the same as the pip award.  comprising of my point ie mobilization.  I also said i have submitted more evidence to them online.

    And i said i cannot give all evidence as some of my medical conditions are too personal, and have nothing to do with blue badge, although my multiple illnesses are over lapping.

    To cut a story short, she said she would speak to her team and get back to me.  And she will pass on everything we had discussed, and the evidence i had sent to them online.

    I think it was about 2 days later, an email came through saying i had been renewed my blue badge for 3 years.

    So i paid for it online, and a few days later my badge was sent to my home address.

    Looking back at it all i was very apprehensive going through the councils route due to, its difficulties for my own personal medical situations.  But on the whole having done it, it went very straight forward.

    Had i'd not phoned them up, and told them there's nothing more i can offer you as in regards to me giving the council more supportive evidence.  The problems lie with the DWP. And your my now last resort.  So on a final note to all subscribers out there / claimants it may be worth your while's to do it online, and also phone up your local council blue badge dept , and explain the situation to them.

    Good luck to all.

    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Tess ward · 3 months ago
      @MrFibro I am having same problem as my pip award has been extended automatically to April 2023 therefore when I renewed my blue badge in October the local authority have only authorised my blue badge until 1st April 2023.  I ramf abd explained this does not mean my entitlement will stop on 1st April. I am not going to be miraculously cured and no longer need my blue badge but they are having none of it.  Any advice on how to tackle this problem would be greatly appreciated 

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