There are currently two types of eligibility criteria: automatic and discretionary. The criteria for automatic eligibility are: those that receive the higher rate mobility component of the Disability Living Allowance; and those that receive War Pensioners Mobility Supplement.
The criteria of persons whose eligibility is subject to further assessment are: those that are unable to walk, or have a considerable difficulty walking; those with severe disabilities in both arms rendering them unable to operate a parking meter; those that are registered blind; Children under 2 with bulky medical equipment and children with highly unstable medical conditions who need a quick access to transport them to hospital or to their home for treatment; and those unable to walk or have considerable difficulty walking because of a temporary but substantial disability, which is likely to last for a period of at least 12 months but < than 3 years.
We are planning to extend the scheme to more children under the age of three with specific medical conditions. We are planning to amend the definition of “unable to walk or has considerable difficulty walking” so that it is consistent with the definitions used by the Department for Works and Pensions when assessing someone for the Higher Rate of the Mobility Component of the Disability Living allowance. We are considering extending the Scheme to injured ex-service personnel in receipt of specific tariffs of award under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme; and in the longer term to people with severe forms of autistic spectrum disorder and very advanced forms of dementia.
There is a feeling that those applying through the discretionary criteria are not being assessed as rigorously as those obtaining an automatic badge after being assessed for HRMCDLA. We believe that the fairest method to ensure that those in need of a Blue Badge receive a badge, is by being assessed by an independent medical assessor r ather than by GPs. To make independent medical assessments statutory we would need to change primary legislation; in the short-term we propose including full guidance on assessments in the “Code of Practice”.
Assessment - Scottish Government - Opening Presentation
28 March 2012BLUE BADGE ASSESSMENTS
28 March 2012BLUE BADGE ASSESSMENTS Bill Brash Transport Scotland
LA responsibilityLAs are responsible for: • administration; • enforcement; • eligibility; • residency and identity checks; and • setting the badge fee to be charged locally.
Why Review the Blue Badge Scheme?• 270,000 Blue Badges issued in Scotland as at 31 March 2011.• Around 100% increase in number of badges since 1997.• Inconsistent application of eligibility criteria.• Current system unsustainable.• Widespread abuse, fraud and misuse.• To improve customer service.• Operational difficulties with enforcement.
Review• Disabled Persons’ Parking Places (Scotland) Act 2009.• Establishment of Blue Badge Reform Working Group in June 2009. Local authorities; NHS; British Parking Association; College of Occupational Therapists; and Mobility & Access Committee for Scotland.• Issued questionnaire to LAs in September 2009.
Blue Badge Reform ConsultationConsulted on 7 major areas:1. Eligibility Criteria.2. Eligibility Assessments.3. Enforcement.4. Badge Design & Security.5. Administration.6. Organisational Badges.7. Concessions.
Consultation Analysis Report•We received 515responses.•Consultation AnalysisReport Published inDecember 2010.
Legislation Passported•Receive the higher rate of the mobility component ofthe Disability Living Allowance (HRMCDLA).•Blind and registered blind.•Receive War Pensioners Mobility Supplement.•Seriously disabled service personnel/veterans.
Legislation Eligible Subject to Assessment• Unable to walk or virtually unable to walk due to a permanent and substantial disability.• Drivers with severe disabilities in both arms and unable to operate a parking meter.• Children <3 that require bulky medical equipment.• Children <3 that require to be kept near a motor vehicle.• Unable to walk or virtually unable to walk due to a temporary but substantial disability lasting over 12 months and under 3 years.
Assessments Background• Responses to the Questionnaire in 2009 stated many LAs used the individual’s GPs for all applicants that required to be assessed.• GP assessments based on medical condition not functionality.• Responses to the Consultation in 2010 stated independent mobility assessments would be more objective and consistent.
Secondary Legislation – January 2012• Introduce Independent Mobility Assessments when an applicant’s eligibility under the “unable or virtually unable to walk” criteria is in doubt.• Introduced as from 1 September 2012.• Defines “Independent Mobility Assessors”.• Guidance contained in “Code of Practice”.
Secondary Legislation – January 2012 “independent mobility assessor” means a person (“person A”) who at the time of any assessment of another person (“person B”) for the purposes of the certification referred to in regulation 4(2)(f) or (g)—(a) is recognised by the local authority to which the application for a disabled person’s badge is being made as— (i) holding a professional qualification, the obtaining of which involved person A being trained in the assessment of a person’s ability to walk; and (ii) having the expertise necessary to assess on behalf of the local authority the ability to walk of person B;(b) has never been employed or engaged as a provider of medical services to person B where “medical services” includes all forms of medical treatment and investigations to establish whether treatment is needed but does not include an assessment conducted to establish whether person B is eligible for services provided by a local authority (including the provision of a disabled person’s badge); and(c) is not, in the opinion of the local authority, precluded by reason of personal or commercial relationship with person B from providing an independent assessment of person B’s ability to walk;
Funding• Scottish Government Health and Social Care Directorates will transfer funding of £720,000 from health budgets to local authorities on a permanent recurring basis with effect from 1 April 2012.• Distributed on the basis of Grant Aided Expenditure (GAE) plus Special Islands Needs Allowance (SINA).• Actual Allocation to local authorities to go through the formal COSLA approval process.
Funding• Collaborative funding arrangements to pay GPs have been in place since 1982.• Collaborative funding will remain in place until 31 August 2012.• Health Circular issued on 12 March 2012.
Agenda10:50 View from Blue Badge Holders11:00 Application Process11:40 Table Exercise12:00 LUNCH12:30 Application Process Q&A13:00 Experience from Integrated Transport Planning13:30 Assessment in Practice14:00 Q&A14:45 Wrap Up15:00 Close