Being disabled comes with a tonne of paperwork. I know adult life comes with a stack of paperwork regardless of whether you have a disability or not, but just this month I’ve had to reapply for my blue badge and my Access to Work. Then later on in the year my disabled person’s bus pass will need renewing. All of which at least require some of the same information that must be stored on goodness knows how many databases already. It is, quite frankly, a pain in neck – especially as I have a life-long disability that won’t improve. If anything, my physically abilities will only deteriorate and my need for things like blue badges and Access to Work will only grow. In my mind, there are a few simple changes that could make these things much easier for all involved.
Make it easier to submit supporting evidence
I was filling out my Blue Badge renewal form online the other day, when I realised that even though I’d been given the option to upload my photograph online, I wasn’t going to be allowed to submit my proof of entitlement document the same way. Instead, I submitted the form and was then given further instructions to send these in the post, or take them to my local council in person, which made no sense to me. I was applying for the badge in the first place because I have limited mobility, and yet both of these options would require me actually getting myself out of my house and going somewhere else. I like to think things like this don’t surprise me anymore, but it turns out they do.
Thankfully, my stepdad phoned my local council who told him I could scan the letters and e-mail them in, but I have no idea why I couldn’t submit them through the original form. I know it’s probably a data protection issue I don’t understand, but this option would have saved time for a lot of people.
Store information in one place
Again, I know this probably comes down to data protection, but it would be so much easier if there was a ‘hub’ where disabled people could upload all their doctors notes and entitlement letters and a list of the things they already receive (benefits, bus passes, blue badges) that all of the departments and companies can access.
Merge forms together
The more I’ve thought about this, the more I think there should be ways file more applications at the same time. For example, both my blue badge and my disabled person’s public transport pass are awarded via my local authority, and yet I have to fill in two separate forms (again with supporting evidence) to apply for them. Surely it would save time and money (for them as well as me) if they could put a box on the form that says you would like this information to also be used in your application for X,Y orZ?
Do you think disability-related paperwork could be made easier?