Unable To Walk Without Stopping For Breath? You May Qualify For A Disabled Parking Permit

Dr Handicap - walking with walking stick

Did you know that if you are unable to walk a certain distance without stopping to take a breath, you might qualify for a disabled parking permit? It’s true! Let’s break down a few health conditions that might leave you gasping for breath, and cover the rules around who qualifies for a disabled parking permit in various states.

Reasons For Shortness Of Breath

Why might someone be unable to walk without stopping for breath? There are many possible reasons. Shortness of breath is commonly termed “dyspnea”; the word refers to breathing that is labored or difficult. Everyone experiences this feeling once in a while. After a weekend nature hike, a hard treadmill workout at the gym, or a long walk from your subway stop to your apartment, you probably experience dyspnea; you feel very short of breath. But this feeling alone doesn’t qualify you for a disabled parking permit. To qualify for a handicap parking permit, you need to be physically unable to walk a set number of feet without stopping for a breath. There’s a difference between not wanting to walk a longer distance and being physically unable to walk that distance.

Many heart and lung conditions share a common symptom of dyspnea, so if you have health problems related to your heart and/or lungs, you might struggle with dyspnea and you might qualify for a handicap placard on your car. But dyspnea is not limited only to heart and lung conditions. The causes of shortness of breath can be varied and numerous: asthma, anemia, obesity, sarcoidosis, and more could all cause dyspnea. Often, shortness of breath is accompanied by other symptoms that make daily life difficult – things like chest pain, fatigue, dizziness or fainting, and more.

Dr Handicap - asthma inhaler

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Qualifying Conditions For Disabled Parking

If you struggle to walk certain distances without stopping for a breath, you might not think of yourself as disabled. But you still might qualify for a disabled parking permit, and this permit could be a huge help to you in your daily life.

Although the laws on disabled parking qualifying conditions vary from state to state, many states have a requirement in place that tests how many feet you can walk without pausing for a break to catch your breath.

For instance, in Texas, you qualify for a handicap placard if you can’t walk 200 feet without resting, if you are restricted by a severe lung disease, or if you have any other disability that a medical professional deems to impair or limit walking ability. In this state, your application form for a handicap placard can be either submitted by mail or delivered in person. Once obtained, the placard will allow you to park in designated handicap places and even park for free in metered spots.

In California, the rules seem to be a bit more strict: as far as breathing problems, you will qualify for a disabled parking permit only if you have restrictions from “a specific lung disease”. Apply in person at a DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) or mail in your application. Once obtained, your handicap placard will allow you to park in designated handicap parking spaces, to park for free in metered parking spaces, to park in areas specifically designated for residents or merchants, and even to park in green curb spaces with no time limit.

Georgia’s rules are fairly similar to the rules of other states. You will qualify for a disabled parking permit if you have an inability to walk 200 feet without resting (for any reason, including shortness of breath), or if you have a lung disease that affects your breathing capability. Permanent disability placards in Georgia will expire four years after receipt, temporary disability placards expire 180 days upon receipt, and disability license plates last for four years as well before requiring renewal.

Although laws vary from state to state, no matter where you live, you can be fairly certain that you will be able to obtain a parking permit if you struggle with shortness of breath.

Dr Handicap - chest pain

Image by Pexels on Pixabay: Any chest or lung condition that results in shortness of breath will usually ensure you qualify for a disabled parking permit.

Disabled Parking Permits For Shortness Of Breath

How can a disabled parking permit improve your life if you are often short of breath? A permit can help you in many ways. Parking in up-close spaces will put you close to the building’s entrance, giving you a short walk before you’re inside. Cutting down the time you’re on your feet and moving will help prevent a flare-up of your other symptoms, if you struggle with other health problems; and the short distance will save your energy for other activities later in the day.

For more information and to find out whether you qualify for a handicap placard, talk to our team of doctors.

Featured image by lena1 on Pixabay