Assessments to check blue badge eligibility

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THIS month sees a change to the way assessments are carried out for Blue Badge disabled parking applications.

The change follows a government review aimed at tightening up the procedure to ensure that the badges only go to those people who are in genuine need.

These changes will apply to new applicants and those looking to renew their blue badge. As this new process may take additional time, renewals should be submitted around six weeks prior to the expiry of the existing badge to ensure that there is no delay in badge issue

When applicants do not automatically qualify for a Blue Badge and where there is insufficient information on their application form, people may be required to have an Independent Mobility Assessment (IMA) with an occupational therapist.

This assessment will gather further information to enable a decision to be made on whether the applicant is eligible for a badge. The applicant will then be informed of the outcome of this assessment by letter.

Some applicants will still automatically qualify for a Blue Badge and will not be required to attend a mobility assessment.

These changes are part of the government’s crack down on Blue Badge fraud and accompany the new Blue Badge design, which came into effect from January 1, for those wishing to apply for a badge for the first time or those wishing to renew an existing badge. The new badges are harder to forge and more like a driving licence - with a digital photo and unique hologram.

Mick Hancock, Milton Keynes Council’s Assistant Director Joint Commissioning said: “We are pleased to have worked with our partner organisations, Mouchel and those in the Milton Keynes Community Health Services, to set up the new arrangements to ensure the right people get the Blue Badges they are entitled to.”

Applications can be made online by visiting www.direct.gov.uk/bluebadge

For information on applying for or renewing a Blue Badge in Milton Keynes visit www.milton-keynes.gov.uk/blue-badge or call 01908 253449.