People with disabilities have been left feeling stressed due to ongoing government processing delays which has made it difficult to access a blue badge quickly.

Andy Hansen, from Dorchester-on-Thames, said his wife, who uses a wheelchair, risked becoming ‘housebound’ after they experienced difficulties renewing her badge.

The Department of Transport sets out criteria for blue badges, with one being receipt of a Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and Disability Living Allowance (DLA).

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Mr Hansen explained that six weeks ago he and his wife applied for a new blue badge, but this was denied by Oxfordshire County Council as her allowance payments run out in August.

The Department of Work and Pensions is currently experiencing delays of 18 months to process applications and renewals.

Mr Hansen said: “My wife has been very ill for five years now and has very limited mobility.

Oxford Mail: Andy Hansen's wife needs her blue badge to carry out day to day tasks

“She is unable to walk unaided and relies on a wheelchair or walker when we go out.

“This requires the need of a blue badge to make parking and access to shops easier and manageable. 

“My wife would be effectively housebound without her blue badge.”

Mr Hansen has blamed Oxfordshire County Council for finding a way to work around the government processing delays.

He said: “It is just not good enough.

“The council should be ashamed.

“They could just renew the badges for people but I do understand that with new claims they need to be more diligent."

Mr Hansen was eventually able to get a blue badge for his wife after weeks of pursuing the council.

But he raised concerns that other people with disabilities would not be able to fight it on their own in the way he had. 

A county council spokesman said: "We continue to welcome all applications for renewals of blue badges that were previously issued under Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and Disability Living Allowance (DLA).

"The criteria for a blue badge is set by the Department for Transport and indicates that local authorities who administer the scheme must have evidence that individuals still qualify under one of the qualifying criterion.

"We are aware of the current delays Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) are facing in awarding benefits and that they are extending awards for qualifying applicants.

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"We would urge you to contact the DWP for an update on an extension to any award while you await a reassessment.

“With proof of an extension, we continue to issue blue badges to applicants who qualify under the Department for Transport’s criteria until the end date of the extension, or for a maximum of three years, whichever is earlier."

A spokesman for the Department of Work and Pensions said: “We have extended payments for up to 12 months for anyone waiting for a PIP review, and we always issue a letter during the extension period which can be used to obtain or renew a blue badge.

"New PIP claims are taking an average 13 weeks from initial registration to decision, and we are working with assessment providers to increase capacity and deliver a more efficient service.”