Applying for a BB and looking for offers of help for the verbal and physical assessment. — Scope | Disability forum
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Applying for a BB and looking for offers of help for the verbal and physical assessment.

2oldcodgers
2oldcodgers Posts: 743 Connected
edited July 2023 in Transport and travel
Can stand and then move unaided more than 20 metres but no more than 50 metres.

The above is the PIP descriptor that would entitle a claimant to 8 points as well as an automatic Blue Badge.

 Age UK simply state 
you have problems walking

My County Council state
  • you cannot walk at all
  • OR you cannot walk without help from someone else or using mobility aids
  • OR you find walking very difficult due to pain, breathlessness or the time it takes
  • OR walking is dangerous to your health and safety
I am trying to get a Blue Badge for my 80 year old wife. She holds a 'for life' entitlement to Attendance Allowance related in the main that she has extremely difficult mobility issues - Arthritis in almost all joints of her body.
In addition to that condition she suffers from water retention in her legs, heart issues, DVT and a host of other issues due to age.

I am more than able to put a written application together for her but obviously I am not allowed anywhere near her whilst she has a face to face assessment by a council official and a walking, moving, turning assessment around a pre planned course on a level car park by a council appointed physio if she falls she falls!

I am looking for pointers on how she should prepare for both the verbal assessment as well as the physical one to guarantee a pass. 
Previously she has had three other attempts of applying for a BB but she has failed on the assessment process every time despite the written medical evidence being extremely supportive. I would also mention that she is very stoic in her attitude towards others.

Thanks
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Comments

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 52,298 Disability Gamechanger
    I'm not sure why you're looking at the PIP descriptors because they are irrelevant here. The same as her AA award because as you already know this doesn't qualify her. AA doesn't have a mobility part so i'm not sure how her mobility issues got her the award. She would have been awarded because of the help she needs with daily tasks such as dressing/undressing, washing/bathing, eating, getting in and out of bed etc etc.

    I think it's impossible for anyone here to help you to "guarantee" she gets the BB. Only you and her know how her conditions affect her. Just send any relevant evidence you have to support her claim.
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • 2oldcodgers
    2oldcodgers Posts: 743 Connected
    I'm not sure why you're looking at the PIP descriptors because they are irrelevant here. The same as her AA award because as you already know this doesn't qualify her. AA doesn't have a mobility part so i'm not sure how her mobility issues got her the award. She would have been awarded because of the help she needs with daily tasks such as dressing/undressing, washing/bathing, eating, getting in and out of bed etc etc.

    I think it's impossible for anyone here to help you to "guarantee" she gets the BB. Only you and her know how her conditions affect her. Just send any relevant evidence you have to support her claim.
    Her AA award is mainly relating to her inability to walk. I am up at least twice a night to get her out of bed and to the toilet (water retention medication!) and back again making sure she is settled back in bed.
    I help her throughout the day with washing herself, etc.

    Yes with the previous claims I made sure that I outlined the difficulties she faces when outdoors with walking etc. But the assessor simply said no because she managed to navigate the course in the car park on her own. What the assessor could not know or indeed see was how she was when the assessment finished and I had to get her back to the car etc -  I had to half carry her as due to pain and breathlessness she was lacking any energy because she pushed herself through the walking exam gritting her teeth and wanting to get to the end of the obstacle course. To her it was both physical and mental torture.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 52,298 Disability Gamechanger
    I'm not sure why you're looking at the PIP descriptors because they are irrelevant here. The same as her AA award because as you already know this doesn't qualify her. AA doesn't have a mobility part so i'm not sure how her mobility issues got her the award. She would have been awarded because of the help she needs with daily tasks such as dressing/undressing, washing/bathing, eating, getting in and out of bed etc etc.

    I think it's impossible for anyone here to help you to "guarantee" she gets the BB. Only you and her know how her conditions affect her. Just send any relevant evidence you have to support her claim.
    To her it was both physical and mental torture.
    Yet you're reapplying for her? Do you have a BB? If so is there any need for her to have one?

    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • Alex_Scope
    Alex_Scope Posts: 7,562 Scope online community team
    edited July 2023
    It is difficult for us to share our thoughts on a way to 'guarantee' your wife gets a blue badge @2oldcodgers as it's down to a lot of different factors on the day of the assessment.

    I believe we've discussed in another thread how much of a trial it is to apply and go through the assessment for both yourself and your wife. I would encourage you both to consider whether it's worth applying if it's going to have a very negative impact on your wellbeing.

    You mention your wife is quite stoic. I think this is quite a common thing for people with long-term health conditions or disabilities, and sometimes it does more harm than good. Not wanting to make a fuss is one thing, but it should not come at the cost of feeling extreme pain, fatigue, stress or anxiety for example. 

    It can be quite difficult to accept ourselves when we need a bit of extra help to do things, or to be independent, but it is a natural part of being human, especially as we age. Being aware of our limitations and being upfront about these- so in your wife's case, being honest about how difficult she finds getting around, would certainly help in the assessment. 

    For the physical assessment, she can explain that it would be too painful and difficult to complete unaided.
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  • 2oldcodgers
    2oldcodgers Posts: 743 Connected
    I'm not sure why you're looking at the PIP descriptors because they are irrelevant here. The same as her AA award because as you already know this doesn't qualify her. AA doesn't have a mobility part so i'm not sure how her mobility issues got her the award. She would have been awarded because of the help she needs with daily tasks such as dressing/undressing, washing/bathing, eating, getting in and out of bed etc etc.

    I think it's impossible for anyone here to help you to "guarantee" she gets the BB. Only you and her know how her conditions affect her. Just send any relevant evidence you have to support her claim.
    To her it was both physical and mental torture.
    Yet you're reapplying for her? Do you have a BB? If so is there any need for her to have one?


    Yes I do and therefore I am having to drive her everywhere. Her independence is important to me as well as my wife in that both of our daughters' each have their own car and would love to be able to take mum out but without a BB parking and walking is a problem.
  • 2oldcodgers
    2oldcodgers Posts: 743 Connected
     Being aware of our limitations and being upfront about these- so in your wife's case, being honest about how difficult she finds getting around, would certainly help in the assessment. 

    For the physical assessment, she can explain that it would be too painful and difficult to complete unaided.
    When I complete the application form for her I am totally honest and outline the difficulties she faces but in doing that it seems not to count.

    In her second application I told her to tell the assessor before the moving around section started to tell them exactly that.
    Their reply to my wife was that if she failed to carry out the mobility assessment it would count against her - which it did as they made a point of saying to her that she did well in completing the course and that it was a case of mind over matter. Once she got going she felt at the time that she had no alternative.
  • 2oldcodgers
    2oldcodgers Posts: 743 Connected
    Well, my wife's BB application has been denied once again and surprisingly not because of an assessment. They based the decision entirely on what I had written on the application form.
    I give up!

    However I have another issue in that my BB will expire on the 11th September2023. I started the online application a couple of weeks ago but came to a dead end. The history of having a BB for me is that I have had one on and off since 2000. What has me at this point is the evidence that they want to see.
    They want copies of the PIP award as well as evidence that it is still being paid. When I moved from DLA to PIP back in 2016 they awarded me (eventually) Enhanced care and mobility. Then in 2019 the DWP sent me a letter saying that following a review I was given a 10 year award until 2029.
    In 2020 when I renewed the BB (by way of a written application) I sent them the original PIP award showing the points awarded letter, the 10 year award letter as well as the current amount being paid in 2020.
    The council did not return any of those forms/letters with me assuming that they have them as future evidence right up until 2029. 
    Now they want the same evidence again.
    I telephoned them saying that they have all of the original documents etc and all I can send is the the current payment letter.
    Not good enough they said they need the points letter from 2016/17 as well as the 10 year award letter from 2019.
    Argued black is white telling them that they had all of this and never returned anything. 
    They told me that without this evidence going back to 2016/17 I cannot have a BB.
    They also told me that I could, if I wanted to, go down the route of having an assessment as for those that don't have the automatic entitlement - as my wife has already experienced. 
    Why can't they simply look for those letters/forms and/or contact the DWP direct?
    I'm certainly not going through what my wife had been through.
    I'm not bothered about parking on yellow lines etc. All I use it for are hospital visits and going to the supermarket once a week.
    I presume I cannot use the Disabled bays at the hospital after the 11th but what about a supermarket disabled bay? Do I really need one to park there on private land?
        
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 52,298 Disability Gamechanger
    A letter for your PIP award that’s dated within the last year should be fine. This should also include the points and where you scored them.  I’ve had a BB since 2013 and lived in many different LAs since then and have never ever been asked for anything other than this.

    Im not sure how you can send evidence from an award that was dated in 2016/17 because that will not be your current award. That makes no sense. 

    Yes, you need a BB if you park in disabled bays, regardless of where it is. If you park in one without a BB then you risk getting a parking ticket. 
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • 2oldcodgers
    2oldcodgers Posts: 743 Connected
    A letter for your PIP award that’s dated within the last year should be fine. This should also include the points and where you scored them.  I’ve had a BB since 2013 and lived in many different LAs since then and have never ever been asked for anything other than this.

    Im not sure how you can send evidence from an award that was dated in 2016/17 because that will not be your current award. That makes no sense. 

    Yes, you need a BB if you park in disabled bays, regardless of where it is. If you park in one without a BB then you risk getting a parking ticket. 

    Thanks. All I have is the normal uprating letter from the DWP last April (2023). All that that letter shows are the new payments will be as from April, it does not show what the points were, what they were awarded for and it does not show  the length of the award. That information was in the original award letter dated 2016/17 only which also said that it was a 3 year award until 2019. Then in 2019 the DWP reviewed the award and made it a 10 year one.
       

    You get the Mobility Component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

    You need to have a score of 8 points or more under the ‘moving around’ section of the PIP to be eligible for a Blue Badge.

    If this applies to you, you must submit a copy of your original letter of entitlement– including the front page and the page showing your score for the ‘moving around’ section.

    If your letter was not issued within the last 12 months, you must also include a copy of your annual uprating letter showing your current name and address.

    We may confirm the information you give us with the DWP.

    Your Blue Badge will expire at the end of your current entitlement shown on the letter you provide as evidence, or for 3 years from the date of issue, whichever is first.


    Reading the above from my LA they want a copy of the original letter of entitlement– including the front page and the page showing your score for the ‘moving around’ section -as in the 2016/17 award letter.

    And If  that letter was not issued within the last 12 months, I must also include a copy of the annual uprating letter showing my current name and address.

    Does your annual updating letter you get every April show what points you were awarded and for what reason?

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 52,298 Disability Gamechanger
    In 2019 when your PIP was reviewed you should have received a decision letter with full breakdown of where you scored all the points and it is this they are asking for, as well as a letter dated within the past 12 months.  

    If you send in the decision letter from 2016/17 then they will refuse that because it's out of date. Even if you sent an up to date letter with what award you have.

    Thinking about my last BB renewal i did mine at the same time as my last review decision which was in 2021 so i used that awarded notice as proof.
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • michael57
    michael57 Community member Posts: 164 Pioneering
    can you not ring up pip help line and ask for a replacement letter that should solve that problem get some copies made so you keep the original for future use 
  • 2oldcodgers
    2oldcodgers Posts: 743 Connected
    michael57 said:
    can you not ring up pip help line and ask for a replacement letter that should solve that problem get some copies made so you keep the original for future use 
    Have you actually tried to get through to anybody in the PIP department?
    I did in April this year when Motability wanted the same evidence.
    The telephone was simply never answered and was disconnected by them after 10mins or so.

    The only option I have left is to write to them and we all know how long they take to reply to letters!
    An email address would have been helpful but they don't have one.

    My current BB runs out on the 11th September and after that date my life is on permanent hold. What you also have to remember is that my wife desperately needs me to have a BB as her walking is even far worse than mine so much so that my daughter has had to buy her a wheelchair so that she can get out and about. She has tried many times to get her own badge but she only has the Enhanced Care award for life of Attendance Allowance which the LA  are not interested in.
  • 2oldcodgers
    2oldcodgers Posts: 743 Connected
    In 2019 when your PIP was reviewed you should have received a decision letter with full breakdown of where you scored all the points and it is this they are asking for, as well as a letter dated within the past 12 months.  

    If you send in the decision letter from 2016/17 then they will refuse that because it's out of date. Even if you sent an up to date letter with what award you have.

    Thinking about my last BB renewal i did mine at the same time as my last review decision which was in 2021 so i used that awarded notice as proof.
    Thanks, no the letter I received after the 2019 review only referred to the length of the award. They just informed me that a review had taken place and that the new decision was a 10 year award from that date to 2029. There was no mention of the points that had been previously awarded back in 2016/17.

    The problem is that the 2016/17 award letter - Enhanced Care & Mobility - was for a 3 years. That letter was sent to the LA when I last renewed the BB in 2020 along with the 2019 letter saying it was to be for 10 years. Those documents were never returned to me.

    I had the very same problem when I took out the Motability contract in April this year. I had no evidence of the points awarded and how long the award would last. All I had was the April 2023 uprating letter which only set out what my payments would be going forward to 2024.
    Anyhow Motability got me out of the problem by them contacting the DWP to confirm eligibility. 



  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 52,298 Disability Gamechanger
    michael57 said:
    can you not ring up pip help line and ask for a replacement letter that should solve that problem get some copies made so you keep the original for future use 
    Have you actually tried to get through to anybody in the PIP department?

    Yup end of last week. I rang as soon as they opened and got through within 5 minutes. Very often this is the best time to ring them and it always works for me. 

    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • 2oldcodgers
    2oldcodgers Posts: 743 Connected
    Yup end of last week. I rang as soon as they opened and got through within 5 minutes. Very often this is the best time to ring them and it always works for me. 

    I have no idea what the opening time is. I have had a look at their web page and it says 9am to 5pm
    I normally make phone calls after breakfast which is normally around 10pm.
    I am no good early in the morning.
  • 2oldcodgers
    2oldcodgers Posts: 743 Connected
    Still haven't managed to get through to them.
    Personally I've had enough of the bureaucracy of trying to get Blue Badges. My wife is refusing to make any more applications and I don't blame her and as for me I'm fed up of the way the application for a renewal is biased against me. 
    I need to have a peaceful and quiet life and not one that is based on arguments and red tape.
    I'm done with Blue Badges for now and the future.
    Mind you I must be one of the few that has a Motability car but being given the run round for a replacement BB - I'll do without one instead.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 52,298 Disability Gamechanger
    I really have no idea why something so easy and straight forward is so difficult. Send a copy of your award letter with a breakdown of where you scored the points for the mobility part. Then also send a letter dated within the past year saying that you have a PIP award. It really is that simple.

    For my LA my renewal is done online and i take a photo of my PIP award and send it digitally to them through a link in the application. Once it's sent i receive an email saying it's been received. They then contact me when it's been accepted to ask for payment, which is £10. Usually i get my BB within a few weeks, a month at the very most.
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • 2oldcodgers
    2oldcodgers Posts: 743 Connected
    I really have no idea why something so easy and straight forward is so difficult. Send a copy of your award letter with a breakdown of where you scored the points for the mobility part. Then also send a letter dated within the past year saying that you have a PIP award. It really is that simple.

    For my LA my renewal is done online and i take a photo of my PIP award and send it digitally to them through a link in the application. Once it's sent i receive an email saying it's been received. They then contact me when it's been accepted to ask for payment, which is £10. Usually i get my BB within a few weeks, a month at the very most.
    Good for you Poppy. I have explained the problem to you over the past few weeks. The only letter I currently have is dated April 2023 which states what my payments will be for the forthcoming year (to 2024). It does not show the points awarded or how long the award is for.
    I don't have my award letter - it was sent to the LA in 2020 when I last renewed the BB. They did not return it to me and they apparently have since lost it. 
    I have tried constantly over the past week or so to speak with the PIP people but either the lines are always engaged and in one case it was disconnected by them. 
    I shouldn't have to go through all of this. They have seen and retained the letters that said that I was awarded Enhanced Care & Mobility and that the award finishes in 2029.
    There is absolutely nothing more that I can do and to be honest really do feel that the LA is making it intentionally difficult for me. 
    Off all of the renewals I have done since the mid 90's they never caused this amount of grief. As I have said it is all one step too far.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 52,298 Disability Gamechanger

    I don't have my award letter - it was sent to the LA in 2020 when I last renewed the BB.
    Yet in another thread last week you said you’ve kept every letter since 1996. See link https://forum.scope.org.uk/discussion/comment/727436#Comment_727436
    I wouldn’t expect any LA or DWP to return any evidence or proof of benefits you send. For this reason you should only ever send copies. 
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • 2oldcodgers
    2oldcodgers Posts: 743 Connected

    I don't have my award letter - it was sent to the LA in 2020 when I last renewed the BB.
    Yet in another thread last week you said you’ve kept every letter since 1996. See link https://forum.scope.org.uk/discussion/comment/727436#Comment_727436
    I wouldn’t expect any LA or DWP to return any evidence or proof of benefits you send. For this reason you should only ever send copies. 
    I do and have. And thank goodness that I did. Back in 2020 at my last BB renewal I extracted letters/reports going back to 2014 and sent them to the LA.
    If I had have destroyed them then there would have been problems for the 2020 renewal with no evidence of the award or length that could be sent in.

    As for sending copies my LA indicated that they wanted to see the originals and presumably not 'doctored' copies which is so easy to do.

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