Qualifying Conditions for a Disabled Parking Permit: Use of a Prosthesis

Dr Handicap - prosthetic foot

The American with Disabilities Act, passed in Congress in 1990, was our nation’s first ever across-the-board law addressing the needs of citizens with disabilities. Approximately 13% of Americans are registered as having some sort of disability, so it’s good to know there’s a law out there to protect and to help these people. One area covered by the act is the provision of disabled parking spots. One designated disabled spot for every 25 spaces is required by law for public parking lots. Certain places such as health care facilities are obliged to supply more than the minimum.

Qualifying conditions for getting a disabled parking permit do vary a little from state to state, but there are certain general factors that are common throughout the United States. If you use a prosthesis for any of your limbs, you will almost certainly qualify for such a permit. Your prosthesis can be for any limb: arms, legs, hands, or feet. Even if your prosthesis enables you to walk a long way easily, or to run a distance, some states still accept your disability and will grant you a disabled parking permit. If you’re not sure what the particular rules are in your own state, be sure to check them out.

Dr Handicap - driving

There are several advantages to owning a disabled parking badge. First up, if you’re a driver, you’d probably mainly use it in your own car. You can be confident in the knowledge that disabled parking spots are required by law to be available at all public parking lots. Secondly, these designated spots are usually closer to the nearest facility or building, so your journey from the car is shorter and less taxing. It may be that you just need your prosthesis for driving and prefer to transfer to a motorized wheelchair on arrival at your parking spot, perhaps because it’s easier to get around or to avoid the discomfort of wearing your prosthesis. The proximity of the parking spots to the facility makes this transition easier. The Disabilities Act states that convenient aisles must be available from the designated parking spots to the facility entrance, so this provides a shorter, more accessible route for you.

Another advantage is that the law goes further in stipulating that “accessible parking spaces should be at least 96 inches wide.” This therefore gives you more space around your vehicle to facilitate getting in and out, or for loading or unloading a wheelchair if required.

A disabled parking permit is generally available in two different formats: either your license plates are marked in a specific way, or you can have a placard that hangs somewhere visible in your car. The beauty of option two is that it’s portable. This means you can use it in any car, not just your own. Just to clarify, if you choose to be a passenger in your own car with someone else driving, your permit is still valid. In addition to this, another advantage of owning a disabled parking badge is that if you’re a passenger in a friend or family member’s car, you will still be allowed to park in a disabled parking spot, providing you display your placard inside the car. It’s important to remember that it’s a permit for parking, not for driving.

If you have been fitted with a prosthesis and had given up ideas of driving or of traveling to many places because it’s just too much hassle, it’s worth looking into whether or not you would qualify for a disabled parking permit. Perhaps going out is too much of an ordeal because you can’t park close to the places you want to visit; a disabled parking permit would make this more manageable. You might not consider yourself disabled at all, feeling that your prosthesis allows you to live a normal life. That may well be the case, and we hope it is, but you could still qualify for the permit and you never know when it might come in handy. With a disabled parking badge, life can be a little easier to manage.

The best way to find out if you qualify for a disabled parking permit is to apply online for an assessment, which will be carried out by one of our in-house medics. It’s a simple and stress-free evaluation that can be done via a voice or video call, so you don’t even have to leave your house in order to be assessed. If you’re missing a limb and have a prosthesis, some states even allow you to forego the full medical evaluation process. Why not take action now and apply online with us to see if you qualify? The process is quick and, if approved, your disabled parking badge will soon be winging its way to you.