Fraud checks cause delays for blue badges

DISABLED motorists in Hastings and Rother are having to wait up to two months to receive their blue badges.

The wait follows changes in the blue badge system by the Department for Transport, designed to cut down on fraud.

Since January 1, council officials, rather than doctors, have been assessing disabled drivers for their eligibility as new badges have been introduced which are harder to forge.

A county council spokesman said: “Currently we at East Sussex County Council process an average of 800 review of entitlement applications per month and between 150 and 250 new applications per month.

“Badge holders applying for a review of their continued entitlement will be sent a reminder six weeks prior to expiry of their existing badge we anticipate that it should take approximately three weeks to process.

“This is provided that all mandatory documentation is submitted together with their completed application form. Guidance notes are sent with the forms to assist with this.

“The review of a badge is not automatic unless a person meets the automatic criteria. All badge holders regardless of the amount of badges previously issued are subject to a review on expiry.

“Since The Department for Transport’s changes to the scheme began on January 1, 2012 East Sussex Blue Badge Team has so far issued 3,000 of the new style badges. Brand new applications will take six to eight weeks to process.”