Blue Badge assessment - was this a reasonable assessment?

hello, FIL has just been turned down for a blue badge, and it set me thinking.

FIL has dementia and various problems with his heart and circulation. His mobility is seriously limited: he walks very slowly, is quite unsteady on his feet, and has regular 'attacks' where his legs become 'wobbly' and he either falls or needs to sit down before he can continue.

MIL barely leaves his side when they are out and about. She hands him his stick (NHS prescribed) or he would forget he needed it. She helps him to his feet. She takes his arm and off they totter.

So at the assessment, MIL was there and they were asked if they were doing anything after the appointment, and MIL said yes, they were going to the nearby shops, so the assessor said "OK if I come with you?"

So off they tottered, and after a short distance the assessor said "OK, that's fine thanks, we'll be in touch."

and of course he was turned down, because although he walks with difficulty and is in some pain, he managed 100 yards.

Now, I know that his walking stick is an aid, and being expected to use that is quite reasonable, but if MIL wasn't on his other arm, he'd go nowhere. Even if his legs weren't playing up, he wouldn't know where to go. But he would not manage 100 yards with just his stick.

So should his mobility have been assessed WITHOUT MIL holding him up?

I don't know that they will appeal, but I wonder if they should?
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  • BrowntoaBrowntoa Forumite, Ambassador
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    Our local blue badge applications are by post , you just need supporting letters showing hospital appointments and medication . Both my mother with COPD and my father in law with diabetes/vascular dementia/ balance problems both got theirs . No face to face interview
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  • pramsay13pramsay13 Forumite
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    If he got a blue badge would MIL (or someone else) not still accompany him?
    If so it's probably reasonable to assess like that.
    If the main criterion is to walk 100 yards and he managed that then the assessment sounds correct.
  • Savvy_SueSavvy_Sue Forumite
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    Browntoa wrote: »
    Our local blue badge applications are by post , you just need supporting letters showing hospital appointments and medication . Both my mother with COPD and my father in law with diabetes/vascular dementia/ balance problems both got theirs . No face to face interview
    they submitted a lot of details, including a letter from a professional they see regularly saying that they would now receive home visits because FIL has so much difficulty going out.
    pramsay13 wrote: »
    If he got a blue badge would MIL (or someone else) not still accompany him?
    If so it's probably reasonable to assess like that.
    If the main criterion is to walk 100 yards and he managed that then the assessment sounds correct.
    Yes, he'd need someone with him all the time. BUT if, for example, MIL was incapacitated, you'd need two people with him for any car journeys: one to drive and drop off close to where they needed to be, and the other to stay with him while that happened. You couldn't drop him off and drive away and park and come back: he wouldn't know where he was or what he was supposed to be doing, and he'd probably keel over.

    The other thing is that although he managed that walk, on another day chances are he wouldn't have done. it is completely unpredictable (and makes going out very difficult). that's not an issue: it's the nature of a fixed point assessment where mobility varies from day to day.
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  • AmesAmes Forumite
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    I don't know much about applying for a blue badge if you don't automatically qualify, but I'd expect the rules to be the same as they are for DLA/PIP.

    Unable to walk more than 50m, reliably, safely and in a timely manner. It seems that he fails that on all three. Also in relation to pain, any walking after the onset of pain doesn't count.

    I don't know how it takes into account fluctuation in condition. PIP does, but I don't know if that would have any bearing on the assessment.

    Did the decision letter give details of how to appeal?

    Perhaps an organisation like Age UK would be able to help or advise.
    Unless I say otherwise 'you' means the general you not you specifically.
  • Savvy_SueSavvy_Sue Forumite
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    Thanks. No, I haven't seen the letter so don't know if it says how to appeal. I'll talk to MIL and see if she wants to take it further. There is a memory cafe nearby run by Age UK but she's quite resistant to using it ... I was astonished she got round to applying at all!
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  • poppy12345poppy12345 Forumite
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    All local councils have their own criteria for a blue badge if you don't automatically qualify.

    See this link about asking for the MR, the usual 28 day rule applies.
    https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/sick-or-disabled-people-and-carers/help-for-disabled-travellers1/blue-badge-scheme/if-youve-been-refused-a-blue-badge/
  • Just noticed on that link that the walking distance is up to 80 metres whereas the distance to get 8 points is up to 50 metres.

    Is that a mistake?
  • poppy12345poppy12345 Forumite
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    Danday wrote: »
    Just noticed on that link that the walking distance is up to 80 metres whereas the distance to get 8 points is up to 50 metres.

    Is that a mistake?
    Re-read the link, which is about claiming a blue badge and not about PIP. It's states...
    If you’ve been refused a Blue Badge, you can ask for the decision to be reviewed by the council.
    It's worth doing this if you can't walk more than 80 metres - about the length of 7 double decker buses, or if you can't use a parking meter because of problems with your arms.



    You wouldn't be refused a blue badge if you scored 8 points in the moving around part of PIP, you would automatically qualify.



    If you don't automatically qualify all local councils have their own criteria.
  • Savvy_SueSavvy_Sue Forumite
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    Just been talking to MIL. I asked if there'd been any assessment of FIL walking on his own, and no, the assessor said "just walk as you normally do". Well that, of course, is as I described: FIL on MIL's arm.

    I have planted the thought that it may be worth appealing, because there has been no assessment of FIL's walking ability on his own. If it comes to fruition, I'll let you all know.
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  • ANNOYED1ANNOYED1 Forumite
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    The walking assessment should be done on their own or with an aid. Your MIL is not counted as an aid. If he needs your MIL to assist him then he should get a blue badge.
    Appeal the decision or ask for another assessment and take someone from age uk/cab with them. Ask for the assessment report and you can see what they wrote.
    Do not give up.
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