Appeal for blue badge - help!
My sister's blue badge expires on 26th June and she relies on it to work, get to doctors appointments, attend university and access any public spaces. I am her carer/support.
She is diagnosed with fibromyalgia (chronic pain), ME (chronic fatigue), IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), autism (which restricts her from using public transport) and she suffered a spinal injury in 2015, which caused temporary paralysis and regularly flares up causing her immense pain and very limited mobility. She often struggles to walk for more than two-five minutes due to her pain and fatigue.
Her telephone assessor was very dismissive, accusatory, and constantly interrupted her. Her autism leads to her struggling with extreme anxiety, which meant that in this situation on the phone she became unable to advocate for herself. The assessor said discriminatory things such as ‘you can’t be that autistic if you can drive a car’ and ‘you must be high functioning’ (functioning labels are not used clinically anymore as they are considered discriminatory).
We think she is absolutely eligible for a blue badge under their criteria that she has ‘a permanent and substantial disability which causes very considerable difficulty in walking’, and she has ‘a hidden condition, which causes her to severely struggle with journeys between a vehicle and my destination’. (we are in England)
She sent an email appealing the decision with all the medical evidence requested. She then called following up about the email and was told it would take 12 weeks before the appeal will be considered. As you can understand, we are absolutely desperate to make sure that she does not have to wait 3 months before she is able to leave the house for work, for appointments etc. We believe that her application being unsuccessful is wholly due to the ableist attitudes of her assessor and it is absolutely unacceptable for her life to be affected by that for many months.
Does anyone have any advice for how to put pressure on the council to solve their mistake/deal with this discrimination issue?