W h a t H e l p I s A v a i l a b l e ?
- Blue Badge (Car Parking) -
If you drive or you are a passenger in a car and cannot walk very far or need to use a wheelchair/scooter, you may find that a blue badge is very useful. The blue badge scheme operates all across the UK and this can be obtained by filling out an application form from your local council website. You will need to send a photocopy of your proof of benefit, a doctor’s letter from your GP or specialist as well as various forms of identification. If you are turned down the first time, there is the option to appeal the decision.
Apart from being able to park in disabled parking spaces, a large majority of car parks do not charge for disabled blue badge holders, but always check as it is different in every car park. Rules for parking in London can differ in each borough. Make sure you check the blue badge hand book to see where it is legal to park with your badge in different areas in London.
- Radar Key -
You can apply to have a Radar key. This allows access to disabled toilet facilities where the door to the toilet is usually kept locked. You do not need to prove your disability and will need to pay a small charge for the key.
- Freedom Pass -
For those of you who live in London and are a permanent resident of one of the London boroughs, then you are entitled to a Freedom Pass. This provides you with free unlimited travel across London’s tube, bus, tram, dlr and overground networks. The pass can also be used on some local train routes in and out of London. The Freedom Pass can also be used across the UK bus network.
You will need a doctor’s letter, preferably from your POTs specialist (or EDS if this is also an issue to your mobility), proof of your benefit and you will have to undergo a medical assessment.
- Local Train Network Priority Pass -
Most train companies in the UK run a scheme where you can apply for a priority card which allows you to show your card to get a seat on the train at busy times. Many people with an invisible illness such as POTs feel uncomfortable about asking to sit down as they are greeted with funny looks as they do not look disabled or unwell. This is legitimate proof that you have a disability. Again you will be asked to prove your disability by showing your proof of benefit and a doctor’s letter from your GP or specialist will always help.
- Congestion Charge Discount -
If you visit London on a regular basis and find you are in and out of the congestion charge zone a lot, then you can apply to get a discount (Please note: you must have a blue badge to apply for this). You pay just £10 a year and can then use a special exemption pass if you are disabled, which means you do not have to pay each time you travel.