E in the A to Z of AdviceDate published: 7th October 2020
uropean Blue Badge Scheme
Blue Badge Scheme - Are You Entitled?
The Blue Badge scheme is a national scheme for those who have a permanent disability which means they are unable to walk, virtually unable to walk, a risk in traffic or are registered blind. A Blue Badge is intended to help those who would be unable to visit public buildings, shops and other places unless they can park close to their destination.
Blue Badges can be issued to adults, children or to organisations providing care.
They can be used by badge holders who are drivers or passengers in any vehicle.
There are 2 ways you can apply for a blue badge if you are a resident in Scotland; online at www.gov.uk or at www.fifedirect.org.uk
Alternatively, you can print off an application form via www.fifedirect.org.uk
Select the Automatic Qualifier application form if:
• you receive the higher rate of the mobility component of DLA (Disability Living Allowance)
• you receive the mobility component of PIP (Personal Independence Payment) (Planning & Following Journeys at 12 points or Moving Around at 8-12 points)
• you receive War Pensioners' mobility supplement
• you are registered blind/severely sight impaired
• you receive lump sum benefit with tariffs 1 to 8 under the Armed Forces and Reserve Forces (Compensation) Scheme
• you were previously in receipt of the high rate of the mobility component of DLA indefinitely but no longer receive this under PIP
• you were previously in receipt of the high rate of the mobility component of DLA for a fixed term and after reassessment for PIP you were not awarded the mobility component for either Planning and Following Journeys at 12 points or Moving Around at 8 - 12 points and have requested a mandatory reconsideration of the decision
• you have been issued with a DS1500 form
Select the Further Assessment application form if you do not qualify automatically. You may still get a badge following further assessment of your application.
Select the Risk in Traffic application if you are applying for someone who because of a mental condition lack awareness of danger from traffic and are likely to compromise their safety, or the safety of others.
In order to make an application under this criteria an individual will:
- have a diagnosed mental condition which is likely to compromise their safety. (i.e. Dementia, Autism or Down's Syndrome)
- be able to provide confirmation from a healthcare professional or registered social worker (but not a GP), that they lack awareness of danger from traffic and are likely to compromise their safety, or the safety of others.
It will help with the assessment of your application if you provide evidence that you receive social security benefits such as higher or middle rate of the care element of DLA, the higher or lower rate of Attendance Allowance or the daily living element of PIP. Some applicants may also need a face to face assessment.
Appealing the Decision
There is no statutory right of appeal against the decision, however, in Fife wwe will a decision will be reviewed if the applicant does not agree with it. A request for a review should be in writing, either to the address at the end of this article or by e-mail to email@example.com . You must provide the reasons why you think the decision is not correct and include any further relevant information about your disability, medical conditions or walking ability that you think should be taken into account. Your request and all information provided will be reviewed thoroughly by a second person who was not involved with the original decision, including a 2nd Occupational Therapist where applicable. You will be informed in writing of the outcome of the review and this will be the final decision.
Timescale for receiving a Blue Badge
Once your application has been received and all relevant documents have been verified, the following timescales will apply:-
• Automatic Applications - 6 weeks
• Further Assessment Applications (granted without a Mobility Assessment) - 6 weeks
• Further Assessment Applications (requiring a Mobility Assessment) - 8 weeks
• Risk in Traffic Application - 6 weeks
Cost of a Blue Badge
Blue Badges are subject to a £20 charge. This charge will be requested upon approval of your badge. Payment should NOT be sent with your application.
Lost and stolen badges
Lost or stolen badges should be reported to the police immediately – once you have the crime or lost badge reference number from the Police, you can either print off a Replacement application form available at the end of this article or email European.Parkingbadges@fife.gov.uk to request a Replacement application form.
Blue Badge Misuse
If you think that a badge is being misused you can report this by email to European.Parkingbadges@fife.gov.uk.
Parking Clock card
A parking clock card is used in England, Wales and in the Inverclyde area of Scotland, because the time you can park using a blue badge is limited and indicated by the time shown on the clock card when you park. You display it on your windscreen next to your badge. You will receive a clock card free of charge with your Blue Badge, but if you need to request a replacement, please contact European.Parkingbadges@fife.gov.uk
Visitors to Fife
Visitors to Fife can use a European Blue Badge from other European Union Governments. For visitors from other non-EU countries, legislation does not allow temporary Blue Badges to be provided, and therefore, the Scottish Government advises that you should bring your disabled parking badge with you and check with the local parking authorities to see if your badge would be recognised.
Parking restrictions are set by Local Traffic Orders issued by Legal Services on behalf of Transportation Services and enforced by Traffic Wardens and Police Officers. You should always check roadside signs when parking for any local parking restrictions or information as these can change.
Blue badge holders can access the following at the times shown but restrictions apply at all other times, please check the signs in these areas for any variations.
Kirkcaldy High Street - All day on Tuesdays; before 12pm and after 5pm on all other days.
Dunfermline High Street - Monday to Saturday: before 12pm and after 3pm and all day on Sunday.
Leven High Street - Before 2pm and after 5pm on all days.
Equity release refers to a range of products that allow homeowners over the age of 55 to draw on the value of their own home without having to move.
Home 'equity' is the difference between the value of your property less any outstanding secured borrowing (mortgage). If there’s no mortgage and there’s 100% equity the amount you can borrow will still generally be restricted to a proportion of the available equity, normally 60%.
Equity release allows you borrow against the equity in your home and in most cases regular repayments are not required, unlike a normal mortgage. The amount borrowed is repaid from the sale of the property at a later date. Equity release can be much more expensive than a normal mortgage and may affect your entitlement to state benefits.
Clients considering equity release should seek professional financial advice and may also be encouraged to have an open discussion with their family.