@tallritchie started the ball rolling on this so credit where it is due.
As you can imagine, not simple but I have got somewhere regarding eligibility outside of the stated guidelines.
The brief guidance is to apply under the restricted walking terms and add an accompanying note, or call in to the team directly, that you have RRMS and the effects on walking can be unpredictable regarding how badly and when it likes to turn on and off.
The reason that MS is listed as one of three specific disabilities under the Equality Act is the unpredictable nature of the effect of the disease. In the days when I seemed to suffer no effects, I was lecturing in Tel Aviv c. 2001 and mid-sentence my brain shut down and I lost – completely – the ability to talk. It was hugely alarming and came and went for about 3 months. That has never happened again. So, it can come out of the blue – the bastard thing!
Convoluted but worth a read:
The bus passes are a national scheme administered by local councils. Apparently, they all have to conform to the Department for Transport (DfT) guidelines and they don’t write the rules themselves, they merely administer the applications. This is why presently there is an element of discretion at council level that can be exercised and it is appealing to this will get you a pass in the meantime.
I will be looking at the DfT end, just not today as I have a lot on. Real change will come when they can be persuaded to change their guidelines to accurately reflect the Equality Act. It is a government department so change will be slow and I suspect pressure will need to be brought to bear from people like MPs etc.
I will post any copies of correspondence with the council that I use. In Oxfordshire – @studentamdms , send me a PM and I’ll tell you the Oxfordshire specific info – they have concurred that the on/off nature means that I/we ought to qualify and they will support it.
If we can get evidence of OCC doing so, it ought to then give some precedent to be used with other councils and strengthen your hand. @rae87 , I am thinking of the form letter knockback you have just received.
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