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And so it continues …

My lift is now, seemingly, fixed (it’s only been a few weeks; let’s not cheer too soon) but no sooner was that done than I had to turn to the copious pages of documentation to renew both my blue badge and London Congestion Charge exemption which, sadly, expired on the same day.

And, jeez, could this get more complex? Yes, of course it could.

Gods forbid that either body should just issue a new badge/exemption based on their own digital check that:

  • it’s an unbroken renewal,
  • your indefinite award for DLA remains ‘indefinite’, and,
  • the DVLA register confirms that your vehicle is a wheelchair adapted one (WAV).

Automatic renewal: that would be too damn easy wouldn’t it?

No. No. No. Far better to send a twenty page form to be completed, requests for evidence of residency, DLA entitlement, existence (birth or marriage certificate … really?), certified copies, photos in duplicate: all to be snail-mailed away with a wait of 21 working days if they do not have to clarify or investigate any information, 40 days if they do.

The blue badge process prior to this year was to take the expiring badge, photos, proof of DLA entitlement to the local town hall and get the blue badge renewed ON THE SAME DAY. Simple, no?

So why does this have to be changed? Ok, maybe it was time pressured for them but really - a wait of 1 − 2 months instead … for a person whose indefinite award to highest level DLA for mobility and care entitles them to a blue badge. There has to be a better solution than this doesn’t there? But, no. This is where we are.

The immediate consequence for me is just loads more hassle. I cannot hold a pen and write so EaZyD has to find time to do all the writing, photocopying, getting of it certified, posting, paying and he does, ya know as I’ve mentioned before, have a full time job in addition to extensive personal care responsibilities for me.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been pretty ill so cannot get out to get passport photos taken and I have none in the house. Until I am well enough to do this, we cannot even send the application off. I am now blue badge less.

Also, as I mentioned, my London Congestion Charge (LCC) exemption ended on the same day as my blue badge. The LCC people refuse to renew my exemption until I physically get the new blue badge. So I am now subject to paying the LCC whenever I go out and it's in force and I have to fill in all their forms again because they rejected my application despite my entitlement and their ability to check with DVLA that my car is a WAV which gives automatic exemption from LCC.

I wish I could just not bother to get my blue badge and LCC exemption but I need both the extra size of the disabled parking spaces and to ameliorate the cost of travel in London where I damn well live. Me and EaZyD pay our taxes and it shouldn’t be so difficult to obtain concessions we are entitled to by virtue of my physical illness.

The only people this tortuous bureaucracy for every disability concession inconveniences are the truly disabled - those of us who are sick, cannot walk, write, get out, travel etc. etc. and our long-suffering partners. Anyone obtaining these concessions fraudulently will have no trouble complying with this stupidity. So who benefits? Not me for damn sure or any other genuinely in-need disabled person.

It’s just one more damned difficulty in an already extraordinarily difficult life. Thanks for that my Government, my Council, my MP. F**k you all.

June Update: Tried to pay LCC & told we didn't need to as our vehicle is a WAV. Duh! So why send us forms to renew exemption? Confused, much?

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Lifestyle - May 2013
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