Applying for a Blue Badge with invisible (hidden) disabilities

From 30th August 2019, a new invisible (hidden) disabilities criteria for Blue Badge applications will be introduced in England.

Due to the nature of invisible (hidden) disabilities, applications will be assessed by looking at an applicant's needs. Having a certain condition or disability does not automatically entitle somebody to a Blue Badge.

To prepare for the new criteria, the Department for Transport (DfT) conducted extensive research with an independent consultancy. This research included insights from a range of healthcare professionals that care for people with relevant conditions and disabilities as well as local authorities that issue the badges.


Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

An applicant would be automatically eligible under the new criteria if, in their PIP mobility assessment, they scored 10 points in 'Planning and following a journey'. Specifically, the 10 points (Descriptor E) which says:

“Cannot undertake any journey because it would cause overwhelming psychological distress to the claimant.”

If the applicant did not score this, they can still apply and their application will be assessed.

Other benefits

There is no automatic eligibility under the new criteria with other benefits, including:

  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
  • Attendance Allowance (AA).

If the applicant receives one of these benefits, they can still apply and their application will be assessed.

What's the criteria for applying?

You can apply for a Blue Badge if you have an invisible (hidden) condition or disability, causing you to severely struggle with journeys and either:

  • Constantly at significant risk near vehicles, in traffic or car parks
  • Struggle to plan or follow a journey
  • Finds it difficult or impossible to control their actions and lacks awareness of the impact they could have on others
  • Regularly has intense responses to overwhelming situations causing temporary loss of behavioural control (meltdown)
  • Frequently becomes extremely anxious or fearful of public/open spaces

If one or more of these are relevant to the applicant, you can  apply using the online service.

What documents will you need?

You can choose to upload supporting documentation with your online application or you can visit either the Wigan or Leigh life centres to provide your supporting documents in person. You do not need to make an appointment. You will need to provide:

  • Proof of identity e.g. valid passport, medical card, valid driving licence, birth / marriage / adoption certificate
  • Proof of address e.g. utility bill or council tax bill
  • Recent digital photo - this must be clear, showing the applicant’s head and shoulders
  • Supporting evidence, such as:
    • A letter of diagnosis, as up-to-date as possible
    • Evidence of the progression of the condition over time
    • Confirmation of ongoing treatments / clinic attendances, or referrals for this
    • Evidence of prescribed medication relevant to your condition
    • Evidence of specialist consultations, or referral for this
    • Your patient summary or summary care records
    • Education Health and Care Plans (EHCP)
    • Care Plans from social care teams
    • Social housing letters / assessment reports from a local authority
    • Letters from other professionals involved in your care
    • Personal Independence Payment (PIP) decision letters
    • Evidence of other benefits received.

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