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Blue Badge and disability do to mental illness?

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Hi there,

 

Am hoping for some advice...

 

For the past eighteen months I have been dealing with mental illness which has resulted in me developing agoraphobia. Unfortunately this has gotten so bad that I am unable to leave the house at all most days. However, I do constantly try to push myself to get better and attempt short walks and try to drive up and down the road with someone accompanying me.

 

Do to this I have been unable to work (signed off by the Doctor) and haven't had an income for the past eighteen months. I didn't feel I was eligible to claim any benefits because I really should be able leave the house but I have currently applied for Employment and Work Support Allowance due to the fact that I am unable to keep up repayments to debt agencies.

 

I have looked at the information re Blue Badge Scheme and it focuses mainly on people suffering from mobility problems due to physical disabilities. I just wondered if there was anyone with any experience of whether I would have any luck making a claim based on my situation?

 

Although I am not suffering from a physical disability I do have problems walking 50-100 yards unaided outside of the home. The main reason for me applying is that I am desperately trying to beat this so I can return to employment and, obviously, the only way to do this is to keep trying to go further from home. I live with family on the outskirts of London. If I travel even five minutes there is a lot of traffic etc and this increases the levels of panic etc. As I understand it a Blue Badge allows you to stop at the side of the road (even if there are yellow lines?) which would be enormously helpful to know that if I do suffer a panic attack I can pull over etc.

 

I realise that to many people requiring a Blue Badge the above will seem incomparable and I hope I haven't offended anyone. Unfortunately, the symptoms I am having do have an impact on my physical health, regardless of when I am in an acute phase or just dealing with the long term effects.

 

Regardless of whether I would be awarded one personally, could it be considered discriminatory for them not to consider disability caused by mental health?

 

Sorry for the long post, any advice or opinions welcome, thanks for reading!

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Hi kate,

First of all, I'm a blue badge holder due to physical limitations. And your post doesn't offend. So relax, you should be able to ask honest questions here :)

That said, I don't actually know the answer. You raise an interesting point.

At the moment, there are two routes to qualifying for a blue badge. In the first instance, you automatically qualify if you receive the Higher Rate Mobility component of Disability Living Allowance. have you considered applying for DLA?

The second route is a discretionary award made by the council. The primary component of this relates to a persons ability to walk less than 100 metres without physical distress. [i'm going from memory so apols if I'm a smidgeon out on that].

The best person you can discuss this with is your GP. Find out what he / she thinks about it. Are they willing to support your application and do they think it would be of benefit to you?

I'm sorry I can't offer more detailed help.

Best wishes

Rae.

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Thanks Rae, appreciate your response. I've recently moved to a different are and my new GP has been great so I'm 99% sure she will provide any supporting medical evidence they require.

 

I have heard that similar applications have been unsuccessful but I'm going to apply anyway and take it from there.

 

I haven't claimed for DLA but I've looked at the eligibility and I don't think I would be very successful as they don't view agoraphobia as severe enough which is fair enough. Also, I've had so many problems with my claim for Employment and Support Allowance because I couldn't get to the medical assessment! I offered to have the assessor come to my home and provided a GP's letter etc (and they can see from my NI contributions I haven't had any income) so finally they agreed I could have it only to stop it this month because you have to go for an assesement every 3 months!

 

I'm also hoping to begin a work from home job soon so that would negate my elgibility anyway but thanks for suggestion.

 

If I am refused I think I will try and appeal on two grounds....

 

1. If my mobility is limited then surely it is discriminatory to exclude me because it's due to a mental illness rather than physical and

 

2. If I have qualified for ESA due to a disability/illness then they have accepted that it affects my ability to work so providing I have evidence to support my claim that I have mobility issues and that a Blue Badge would help in my circumstances they can't deny it?

 

I'm presuming that the argument will centre around the definition of mobility issues but I've got nothing to lose by applying! I will apply this week and update this thread when I hear back just in case anyone is interested or in a similar situation.

 

Thanks again :)

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Hi kate, i am also in your position and have suffered severe anxiety since i was 6 and have periods where its worse than others and these periods can last months or years, currently am at a very bad place ans have been for a year or so and am starting a new school in london and it will be hard enough for me as it is to attend and i may not even be able to make it through the days but i will not be able to travel by public transport as havent ever got on a bus or train alone and cannot bring myself to get on one at all atm so i would really like to be able to drive but like everywhere in london it is not possible to park i was just wondering if you had any success with your application?

thanks

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Hi there,

 

Sorry to hear you've been suffering - I can completely understand the difficulty in getting around via public transport. Unfortunately I can't offer much advice re getting a Blue Badge. At the moment I am trying to resolve an issue with the Department of Work and Pensions about getting Disability Living Allowance. They don't recognise my condition as disabling (despite the fact that it does satisfy all their conditions). My hope was that once I had the Living Allowance it would be easier to get the Badge because they would have already accepted the condition as a disability.

 

The only advice I can give would be to apply for the badge and provide as much medical evidence as possible ie GP's letter, any documentation from other medical practitioners etc. If that fails definitely try appealing as the decision can be overturned.

 

Best of luck with going back to school. When I went back some years ago I really struggled at first and barely attended for the first few weeks, then just one class at a time and built it up over time so don't worry if it's hard at first - you'll get there in the end!

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thank you so much for your help and good luck with it all x

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To the OP:

 

I qualified for lower rate DLA mobility for severe agoraphobia.


"To love unconditionally is the greatest gift, laughter is a close second" .To give your time to help others after being helped here is the best way to show your appreciation to your fellow CAG members.

 

Please note that this advice is given informally, without liability and without prejudice. Seek the advice of an insured qualified professional if you have any doubts. All my knowledge has been gained here, for which I'm very grateful. I'm a Journalist, not a law professional.

 

If you do PM, make sure to include a link to your thread as I don't give out advice in private ;)

BB 13 - DCAs/banks and solicitors 0.

 

I get a fresh start to get on with learning to live with severe disabilities when they could have had something if they'd been understanding...

 

<--- If you feel I've helped, please twinkle my star :)

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Any illness which affects the ability to interact in a normal way with your environment could be grounds for claiming disability living allowance with mobility component as long as medical evidence, from own G.P. and the ensuing medical assessment done by the benefits doctors, support the diagnoses and as long as the disability does not put the applicant or other road users at risk. Go for it, is all I can say and good luck.

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I have since been awarded higher rate mobility due to physical disabilities. I have however, decided to not drive due to the severity.


"To love unconditionally is the greatest gift, laughter is a close second" .To give your time to help others after being helped here is the best way to show your appreciation to your fellow CAG members.

 

Please note that this advice is given informally, without liability and without prejudice. Seek the advice of an insured qualified professional if you have any doubts. All my knowledge has been gained here, for which I'm very grateful. I'm a Journalist, not a law professional.

 

If you do PM, make sure to include a link to your thread as I don't give out advice in private ;)

BB 13 - DCAs/banks and solicitors 0.

 

I get a fresh start to get on with learning to live with severe disabilities when they could have had something if they'd been understanding...

 

<--- If you feel I've helped, please twinkle my star :)

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I have since been awarded higher rate mobility due to physical disabilities. I have however, decided to not drive due to the severity.

 

Now you get DLA Mobility rate high,you can apply for a PB via your local council

 

and can still have a blue badge even if you stopped driving,use the PB with a friends car if they take you out and about


Just say No to 0870 and 0845 Numbers,Use

http://www.saynoto0870.com/search.php

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Yes thanks. Am already in the process of doing so :)


"To love unconditionally is the greatest gift, laughter is a close second" .To give your time to help others after being helped here is the best way to show your appreciation to your fellow CAG members.

 

Please note that this advice is given informally, without liability and without prejudice. Seek the advice of an insured qualified professional if you have any doubts. All my knowledge has been gained here, for which I'm very grateful. I'm a Journalist, not a law professional.

 

If you do PM, make sure to include a link to your thread as I don't give out advice in private ;)

BB 13 - DCAs/banks and solicitors 0.

 

I get a fresh start to get on with learning to live with severe disabilities when they could have had something if they'd been understanding...

 

<--- If you feel I've helped, please twinkle my star :)

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Hi, I know this is an old thread but i thought it would be useful to others for me to post here. I have severe depression, agoraphobia and anthrophobia. As a result i can not leave the house without my partner with me. I go through stages of suicidal thoughts/actions and self harming, and then stages of mood highs where i will not be able to sleep and will do stupid things, take risks. I have hallucinatiopns as well. The doctors have me down has mild depression with moderate anxiety, the anxiety causing the hallucinations :roll:. I put in a claim for DLA and got awarded lower rate mobility, but nothing on care. No change in desicion through 2 appeals either. We went all the way to the tribunal, The week before i was terrified, The day i didn't want to go. But i'm so glad i did.

They listened to what i was saying, I've been unmedicated for months so was having a panic attack and they saw exactly what i am like. They paid no attention to what the doctors had said, but had obviously read a letter my partner had sent in which detailed all of my problems, and paid close attention to this. A Doctor, Judge and a care worker trained in mental health unaminously agreed i should be recieving middle rate care and lower rate mobility, backdated from when i origionally appealed 2 years ago. I'm just waiting to see if the DWP appeal the descion. I haven't applied for a blue badge yet, but i think i'm going to one's we get it running.

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I personally don't know of anyone with mental health issues who does not get HRM being awarded a blue badge. I think if they did allow people to have a blue badge due to anxiety and agoraphobia, it would be cheaper to hand out badges to people who do not qualify for blue badges rather than the other way around.

 

I do understand how the OP feels it would be a benefit however, I have a blue badge due to spinal deformities but have mental health difficulties too and it does help me but it is the physical need for it that means I was awarded it. I don't think it is viable however to award blue badges for mental health issues alone without evidence of the severity such as HRM.

 

It would be interesting to hear back from the OP as to how successful or not their application was.

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My grandmother has just been awarded a blue badge,on appeal (she doesn't drive). Granted she can't walk the limits that are stated by DWP but she is not on higher rate DLA even though her mental health is chronic. (gets middle rate) Due to her age when her physical disabilties came to light, her G.P seems to think no-one should get anything. When we appealed the application, It was letters from her psych consultant and CPN that did the trick. I know getting out and about was part of her treatment. and her consultant is aware of her physical problems, the letter was strictly regarding her mental health (copy sent to her).

If the application is denied it may be worth appealing.

 

Good Luck

Claire x

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There's no point in appealing if mental health isn't one of the criteria.

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Guest amianne

That's quite true.

 

My dad has a blue badge and from I have been told any new applications have to be vetted by an OT to see how far you can walk, being a physical problem, not just that you can walk but won't.

 

I can't see anybody with a mental illness getting one.

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I know someone who does; but they receive HRM.

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Some mental health conditions can affect mobility quite severely. Since January 2012 very few new applicants are seen by an OT, the forms are more comprehensive and it's the evidence from the applicants doctor that they use. I imagine this is to cut costs, the form says applicants may be called for a medical if the council deems it necessary. A blue badge is for people with all sorts physical disablities, not just those who have difficulty walking, that just happens to be the most common reason. An application for a blue badge does have to fit a criteria, but is ultimately based on it's individual merits.

 

Claire x

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Hi not sure on this in today's climate but when I got my DLA Mobility component part of the wording was if walking unaccompanied could put the claimant in danger of injury. IE panic attacks etc.

 

dpick


cannot find it A to Z

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/consumer-forums-website-questions/53182-cant-find-what-youre.html

 

 

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Guest amianne
Some mental health conditions can affect mobility quite severely. Since January 2012 very few new applicants are seen by an OT, the forms are more comprehensive and it's the evidence from the applicants doctor that they use. I imagine this is to cut costs, the form says applicants may be called for a medical if the council deems it necessary. A blue badge is for people with all sorts physical disablities, not just those who have difficulty walking, that just happens to be the most common reason. An application for a blue badge does have to fit a criteria, but is ultimately based on it's individual merits.

 

Claire x

 

I would disagree with you. Since this year Councils are using OT's to vet applications for a Blue Badge. GP reports are no longer being used as the DOT quite rightly assume that GP's are more than likely to support an application. Because of the considerable amount of abuse it was decided to implement a more stringent test to be carried out by OT's paid for by the Council. Hence the reason why the cost of the badge has increased. Most Councils if not all are now working to this new standard.

 

In the past all applications were based on completion a simple form and support from the GP.

Now it is more independant evidence based.

https://bluebadge.direct.gov.uk/directgovapply.html

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I think there is still words to that effect dpick, from my understanding, anxiety and panic attacks can literally stop someone in their tracks (I don't suffer myself)

and cause severe pain, panic attack pain has been compared to that of a heart attack, even by doctors. I think it is the way the questions on the form are answered and the medical evidence presented that determines the outcome of the application.

 

Claire x

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That may be the case your local council amianne, but not everywhere. The current form is far more detailed and doctors treating the applicant are the best person be approached in regard to the applicant condition. As I previously said you don't have to just have a problem with walking to get a badge. If the applicant does have a problem with walking a OT may be the best person to assess this, but wouldn't have a clue in regard to other disorders that fit the criteria.

 

Claire x

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