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Thank you for your consideration and concern Capita


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I am shortly to go for my Personal Independance Payment assessment, which, as some of you will know, indicates a moderate to severe disablement. The accompanying blurb said something to the effect:- "Don't worry, our agents make it easy for you to get to your appointment."

At the moment I am unable to walk more than 18 paces in one go and hold a "Blue Badge" so I was pleased to hear that it would be easy.

I received my appointment from Capita and did some research prior to the appointment.

The place I have to get to is on the outskirts of Birmingham so I phoned up to make sure they had disabled parking facilities, only to be told that they did not provide parking for visitors, however, if I had a Blue Badge I could park outside. Now the road concerned is the Hagley Road and those who know will realise that it is an extremely busy dual carriageway arterial route into and out of Birmingham. Further research lead me to discover that the road was, in fact, a "Red Route", meaning that I couldn't park there even with a Blue Badge.

Further enquiries confirmed that the nearest suitable car park was some 1.5 miles away and that if I parked there, I would require to get two busses to get back to the premises. Unfortunately, I can't get my leg up high enough to get onto a bus. Furthermore, the alighting bus stop was some 900 yards away from the premises and required a visitor to cross the extremely busy dual carriageway.

"You can always walk you know, we're not far from New Street Station" I was told. Not far from, in this case, equates to 2 miles and multiple road junctions.

I asked if I could use a taxi and the answer was in the affirmative... but I couldn't claim taxi fare back as there was "such a good public transport service".

How's that for taking care of clients.

BTW... I am required to be at the appointment by 07:30 in the morning, requiring me to be out of the house by shortly after 06:00.

Thank you for your care and understanding Capita.

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That is typical, Paul.  I had  a similar experience about five years ago.

My Blue badge, which I had when a surgeon advised that while a knee reconstruction was possible for someone my age it would probably mean that it would never really work.

I applied and got a Blue Badge. Nine years later it was cancelled and I was not informed.  Eventually I found that it was the office based near Gravelly Hill that had cancelled it, and I went to see them.  However, I could not get in as the doors had a big sign "No entry for the General Public".  I waited till someone came out and then walked in.  But no joy!

I had to go to that place  you have to go to. I drove the three quarters of a mile to Four Oaks Railway Station,  Managed to find a space to park  --  the Disabled bays were only half full, but I had no Blue Badge. The Cross City line took me into New Street, and a Taxi to and from the Office cost £14.

I had a very cursory test  --  a walking test about 15 yard in a corridor  [it should have been about 30 yards outside] and an interview from a young woman, who have not even seen the papers I had sent in the week before.

I was refused a Blue Badge on the basis that I had turned down a knee replacement.  Had the  papers been read she would have seen that the consultant surgeon had advised that a knee reconstruction could fail  --   he had put it in writing.

I went to my local councillor, and to be fair she grasped the nettle immediately and both wrote and telephoned the people who had refused my Blue Badge.  It took some time, and after being without a Blue Badge for three months I eventually got it restored

Not a nice experience!

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I get really irritated if not angry when I hear of these things happening and the ridiculous bureaucracy that goes with them.

I have a 30 year old daughter who was born with quite severe cerebral palsy which affects her mobility, speech and more recently eyesight. She lives independently not far from us and receives care in the mornings and evenings. I addition to that she relies on my wife and I during the day to help her with the things outside of her carers' remit.

My daughter would love to be able to work but cannot due to her condition and for "health and safety" reasons.

Recently my wife had to once again go through the PIP application process on behalf of our daughter which involved completing a 40 page document. This was then followed up by a 2 hour visit from an independent assessor to assess our daughter against the same (40 page document) criteria. This took place several weeks ago and the report is now presumably being appraised in some government department prior to a decision being made on our daughter's benefits.

Meanwhile I continue to see abuse of the blue badge system on a massive scale. People parking without blue badges in disabled spaces is bad enough but seeing able bodied people with blue badges is even worse. I have a neighbour who blatantly boasts about the fact that she has a blue badge due to an arthritic shoulder yet she still manages to go horse riding most days!!!! 

How can people who clearly don't qualify for disabled parking benefits obtain blue badges so easily when people who really need them have to struggle and endure the difficulties described above?? 

Rant over!


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Hi Phil --I'm with you all the way on this I have a mate who said he really needs a badge and he got one -Yet he takes his dog for a walk

every morning across muddy fields for 2 hrs at a time.??????

My wife is parallelized from the waist down so we have one but for us it wasn't easy to get ???.



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