Another benefit you can apply for, is a blue badge. Annoyingly you have to apply online and then my local council sent me an application to fill out – so it was double input. You also have to provide a picture but to save money, take one from your phone and upload it via the website.
To be eligible for a blue badge, if you are any of the following;
- registered as blind (severely sight impaired)
- have either a Certificate of Vision Impairment (CVI) or a BD8 form, signed by a consultant ophthalmologist, stating that I am severely sight impaired (blind) and I wish to be registered as severely sight impaired (blind) with my local authority
- receive the Higher Rate of the Mobility Component of the Disability Living Allowance
- receive a Personal Independence Payment (PIP) as I meet a 'Moving Around' descriptor for the Mobility Component because I either cannot stand or can stand but walk no more than 50 metres. This is a score of 8 points or more.
- receive a Personal Independence Payment (PIP) as I meet the 'Planning and Following Journeys' descriptor for the Mobility Component because I can't follow the route of a familiar journey without another person, an assistance dog or an orientation aid. This is a score of 12 points.
- receive a War Pensioners' Mobility Supplement
- receive a tariff within 1-8 (inclusive) of the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme and have been assessed as having a permanent and substantial disability which causes inability to walk or very considerable difficulty in walking.
- receive tariff level 6 of the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme for permanent mental disorder
Even if you do not have any of the above, you can still apply if you have a "substantial disability likely to last longer than 12 months" – you can get evidence of this from your GP, nurse of consultant however if you do use this option it is likely that your local authority will send you to one of their doctors for a quick assessment. I have not been on this sort of assessment so can not tell you what it is or how it goes – if anyone reading this has, please let us know via the comments box below.
Once you have the blue badge it will help with the tiredness as you'll be able to park on single or double yellow lines (for no longer than 3 hours) or within disabled bags; which are always closer – rather than having to find a car parking space and walking.
The badge also allows you to forgo some road fees e.g. The Second Seventh Bridge toll or the London Conjestion Charge (however you do have to apply for this one) – there might be others near you. Have a google! These are good incentives for getting out of the house, away from dialysis etc and getting on the open road!
A word of warning – the badge does not allow you to park wherever you want and you still have to think about being reasonable. Also if you use a car park (private or public) always read the signage about parking – do not assume that the parking will be free.