Ataxia UK
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The Blue Badge Scheme and Ataxia

Has any ataxia sufferer applied for and been unsuccessful in obtaining a blue badge? Where the reasons for refusal given ? As a sufferer I recently applied for one and was refused.

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When I first applied about 18 months ago, it was refused - I had spoken with someone on the telephone to apply who didn't even know what Ataxia was. He asked me to explain what it was and I probably didn't use the right medical terms. I had explained my reasons for applying, not being able to walk far or carry anything at the same time and to get in and out of the car I needed to have the car door fully open which was not possible in normal car parking spaces. (also my husband had recently died so I was now on my own) It was deemed I could walk too far - it didn't matter that it was impossible for me to get my shopping back to the car or get in or out of it if another car parked too close. However I spoke with my GP, who contacted my local council on my behalf and a blue badge was issued! He knew what to say better than I did. Do not give up, I would be lost without being able to park on disabled spaces or closer to where I need to go.

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Hi Ellers,

Tiggywinkles is quite right.

Over the past 10 years (since my diagnosis in 2003) I have not been refused a Blue Badge. I have applied twice. I have backed up my application with a brief Doctor's letter explaining the symptoms Ataxia can cause and those which are applicable to me. I'm afraid you'll need to overload your issuing Authority (Local Council?) with information because - as we all know - not many people out there know about or understand what Ataxia is.

Good luck

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I have one, the diagnosis is itself isn't a passport to getting one however if the issuing authority get feedback from your Dr you could ask what the Dr told them and if they've misunderstood the impact of Ataxia that you clear that up and ask the authority to ask your specialist instead.

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Hi Ellers, if I were you I'd either appeal the decision or reapply and always copy the form before you send it so you know what you put. It's often turned down the first time. You need to tell them about your worse possible day. It depends on how far you can walk as they'll only give it to you if you can't walk a certain distance etc. My daughter has ataxia and can only walk approx 50 metres with her walking stick on a good day and with splints on her legs and approx 20 m on a bad day and is in constant pain. So if you are the same id appeal

Good luck!

April

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As moonstonebright says copy any forms you send off for anything [I scan all of mine] so if you re apply for the same thing again you know what you put.

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I rang to apply for the Blue Badge for my Jade after seeing this post this morning and (no surprise) it was refused as even though she has a wheelchair for long distances and has visual impairment, apparently she doesn,t qualify as she isn,t disabled enough. story of our lives but then we are talking about Caerphilly Local Authority and they do things their way.

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I agree with all the replies. I too was refused the first time. The key is to say you can only walk 50 metres. I also got a covering letter from my GP and also contacted Ataxia UK and they also wrote me a letter and gave pamphlets on Ataxia. I bombarded them with information and got my permit the second time, which i find invaluable and get so mad when able-bodied people park in the disabled spots! Also I have been told to get the CAB to help with filling out the forms as they know the right words and phrases. Good luck.

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Hi Ellers

I was granted a Blue Badge for ataxia some years ago,do you realise it is no longer free, they charge £15 for it now.

Best wishes

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Mine was £10, I assume this may vary by different councils. It also depends on where you are as to whether you still have to pay for parking in car parks. I am in North Devon, where you do, but you don't in Somerset. So, always check the boards before leaving your car otherwise you may end up with a ticket!

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I got my blue badge and it was free, all I had to pay was for a picture to go on the badge . But even if I had to pay the £15 it would have been worth it as getting in and out of the car and carrying shopping any distance is a nightmare

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I live in France so the system is different here. I was never refused my blue badge and have had it for three years now. I would advise to put as much detail on form and always describe how you are at your worst. Don't try to use words like a little pain, or sometimes. Tell them the worst! And make sure they are clear that it is a degenerative illness. I can't drive anymore but i definitely need the badge for my husband or friends to park near enough for me.

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Am I right to say that if you are awarded DLA (in the UK) then you are automatically awarded with a 'blue badge'? As for paying a fee for a blue badge, I've never heard of this. Maybe the rules in Scotland are different?

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Hi Iain

You are automatically eligible for a blue badge if you get the highest mobility component of DLA.

I got my last Blue Badge when I was still in Glasgow at the beginning of 2011. Glasgow City Council charged £20 for it. I know there is a charge in Renfrewshire also. I think the amount depends on the individual council, whether you are in Scotland or not.

Harriet

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Thank you for all the replies over the last few days. Your replies have given me the confidence to see my GP and appeal. Thank you again.

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If you have Ataxia, it is a recognised disability and you are entitled to apply for DLA. I get the high care and high mobility that is deemed ongoing. If you get high or middle rate mobility you can get a blue badge also your car tax is free. When applying the forms are very repetitive but you must always put the worst it ever is. I need a wheelchair most of the time however; if I do walk I need to hold an elbow crutch and my husbands arm for support therefore I cannot walk unaided or else I fall. These are the kind of things you must put on the form. I also need help with personal care, cooking, dressing, cutting food, staying safe so I get the care element as well. If you get medium to high rate care your partner or someone can apply for carers allowance which also helps. There's so many things you can get help with if you're registered as disabled even the cinema and tax refunds on some products like beds, wheelchairs, rollators etc. No one will tell you but there's loads out there if you take the time to search. Hope this is useful. X

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i applied for pip because i have cerebellar ataxia which i got from my mum. They gave me enhanced for care and standard for mobility.Did you have the same problem

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Hi

I have just had my care cut from high to standard but I kept my high mobility.

I'm appealing re care as my husband is my carer and does everything for me.

They're trying to save money and using people like us to save it.

I won't back down. She never even asked to see me do anything at all just questions.

Appeal over the mobility.

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My wife was my carer for many years but when she reached retirement and got her state pension they stopped paying her the carers allowance...... I have just received my reminder from Kent County Council for my blue badge and am about to re apply for renewal.

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it is important that you give details about how your walking etc is affected by ataxia. the therapist met me at the council offices and looked at me walking down the corridor . she also asked me how ataxia affected my daily life. you can always appeal against the decision. I have had a badge for 5 years now and it is still a problem as you can drive somewhere and have a problem parking near where you are going. hope you are successful on appeal- I think most people do not go into sufficient detail- when I applied for attendance allowance I filled in the massive form with the help of a n advisor and it was so detailed but I immediately got the allowance which makes a big difference to me financially as it is not means tested so try again

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Yes, like the others who responded, I think its wrong .... no very wrong that you have been denied your 'blue badge'. The distance between the parking space and the supermarket trolley is perilous. I need to reduce it to its minimum, so no doubt do you. Priority parking allows me to do this. When I applied I wrote to my consultant requesting his support. His letter to the local authority was succinct and supportive. Re-apply soon!

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