National legislation by the Department for Transport (DfT) says local authorities running the Blue Badge scheme do not have a legal duty to offer an appeals process.
However, the DfT strongly recommend that Local Authorities have in place a ‘Review of Decision’ process to allow applicants to request a review of the decision made regarding their case.
It must be stressed that this process is to be followed only where you disagree with the decision that has been made regarding your claim but you are content that staff have acted correctly and have followed due process.
If you feel that staff have not acted correctly or followed due process in dealing with your claim, you must follow the Council’s complaints procedure.
Each stage of the process will take a maximum of 20 working days to complete and our decision will be confirmed in writing.
Stage One Review
- You must submit your request for a Review of Decision to Customer Services Team (Ground Floor, Civic Offices, Bridge Street, Reading RG1 2LU) in writing and with any additional supporting evidence.
- You should detail why you feel the decision is wrong, and provide new supporting medical evidence which is recent and details exactly how your condition/s affect your walking ability. Please note that evidence from your GP alone may not be sufficient.
- Customer Services will attach your request, and any additional evidence supplied, to the original application and pass on to the Senior Occupational Therapist at the Independent Mobility Assessment Clinic.
- The Team Manager (responsible for Blue Badges) will review the case and make a decision as follows:
- Uphold the original decision if, based on the evidence supplied, the applicant is clearly still not eligible for a Blue Badge;
- Request the applicant to attend the Independent Mobility Assessment Clinic for a physical assessment of their needs and abilities (We will contact you to arrange a convenient date and time for the assessment to take place) or
- If the applicant has already had an Independent Mobility Assessment undertaken the Team Manager can request a second Independent Mobility Assessment. If you are asked to have a second assessment, this will not be undertaken by the same Occupational Therapist that saw you for the first assessment;
- Overturn the original decision if, based on the new evidence supplied, the applicant is eligible for a Blue Badge;
- Once one of the above actions has been undertaken, you will be informed of our decision in writing.
- If it has been decided that you are now eligible to receive a Blue Badge, Customer Services will process the claim and you will be informed when your badge is ready to be collected.
If you are still unhappy with our decision, then you may request a Stage Two review and the process is as follows.
Stage Two (Final) Review
- You must submit your request for a Review of Decision to Customer Services Team (Ground Floor, Civic Offices, Bridge Street, Reading RG1 2LU) in writing and with any further supporting evidence.
- Customer Services will attach your request, and any additional evidence, to the original claim and send this to the Independent Mobility Clinic. They will add information from the Stage One review and pass onto the Head of Service to make a decision.
- The Head of Service will review the information, any subsequent reviews and interview any staff involved with the original decision as appropriate.
- The Head of Service has the right to request that an Independent Mobility Assessment is undertaken, even if the applicant has already had an assessment as part of the original process. If you are asked to have a second assessment, this will not be undertaken by the same Occupational Therapist that saw you for the first assessment. We will contact you to arrange a convenient date and time for the assessment to take place.
- The Head of Service will then make a decision and you will be informed in writing.
- If it has been decided that you are now eligible to receive a Blue Badge, you will be contacted by Customer Services when your badge is ready to be collected.
The Stage Two Review is the final part of the process and the Head of Service has the final say on eligibility and whether an application is approved or rejected. There is no further right to request a review of decision once a Stage Two review has been completed.
This does not affect your rights to use the Council’s Complaints procedure or preclude your right to contact your local Councillor or Member of Parliament.