Department of Transport Blue Badge eligibility workshop
February 18, 2019
Action for M.E. has attended a workshop with representatives from the Department of Transport to discuss changes to the Blue Badge eligibility guidance. In 2018 the Government announced that changes would be made which would allow for people with severe hidden disabilities access to the scheme.
At the moment, the new guidance will cover those who:
- “Cannot undertake a journey without it causing them very considerable physiological distress.”
- “Cannot undertake a journey without there being a risk of serious harm to their health or safety or that of any other person.”
- “Have very considerable difficulty when walking (both the physical act and experience of walking).”
During the workshop we raised the need for consideration to go to the effects that can occur after walking. We raised the problems surrounding post-exertional malaise and the fluctuating nature of the condition, highlighting that people with severe M.E. will be most effected. We also discussed how many people with M.E. have had their applications wrongly refused under the current guidelines and care would need to be given to ensure that the replacement clarifies the eligibility of people with severe M.E.
The new guideline is due to come into force later this year and in the meantime we will look forward to further opportunities to engage with the Department of Transport to ensure people with M.E. are taken into consideration.