I used to hold a Blue Badge. Had it for 3 years. It expired November 2012 and my council, Dorset, is refusing to renew my badge because they, the Department of Transport and the OT they involved say Fibromyalgia does not meet the criteria of being a permanent and substantial condition.
I have appealed, sending info about Fibro and a letter from my doctor and was turned down. And I have taken DCC to Local Government Ombudsman. This week I recieved back a reply from the Ombudsman dealing with my case - my complaint was the Council failed to consider adequately whether I had considerable difficulty walking before refusing to renew my blue badge and turning down my appeal. But it looks like I've only been successful in getting the Council to review their online form (it is terrible!). The Ombudsman sees no fault because the Council had to consider whether I have a permanent and substantial disability that means I can not walk or have considerable difficulty walking thusly the Council does not consider Fibro to be so and I fail eligibility criteria. DfT advised the Council that fibro is variable and intermittent. And the OT that was consulted felt a walking assessment would not provide any additional benefit because Fibromyalgia did not meet the condition of being permanent & substantial.
Who decides whether Fibro is permanent & substantial?
I'm at a loss! I live in the countryside, a 20 minutes drive from any town and feel life has been made that extra bit hard because my badge has been taken away. Ok I can walk well most days BUT I'm in pain everyday! I believe I've had Fibromyalgia all my life (traumatic birth) but it has only become apparent and worse with time (if you don't know any different than to you its normal to have muscle aches and pains daily - but apparently healthy individuals bodies don't), daily stresses of life, bereavement etc etc. I was officially diagnosed with it November 2007 along with CFS (which I have recovered from) but unofficially go back to 2004 with problems. I saw a specialist October 2011 who reconfirmed the Fibro diagnosis and basically told me to adapt my life around it as I would more than likely have it for life. Is this not permanent and substantial?
How soon can I reapply? Should I even consider it? I don't know what to do.
PS Hi everyone I'm new on here and so sorry this is my first post but I found the forum and hope to reach out for some help and advise