Double-amputee war hero praised by Prince Harry will now get blue parking badge after application rejected

Stephen Nartey March 01, 2024
Ben McBean/Photo credit: Royal British Legion via Facebook

A double-amputee ex-Royal Marine lauded as a hero by Prince Harry and the Invictus Games for his service in Afghanistan, Ben McBean, said on Tuesday that he was denied a blue badge because he “doesn’t officially meet the criteria.”

McBean, who lost his arm and leg in a landmine blast in Helmand Province in 2008, was initially granted the badge upon returning to the UK but it was revoked after council officials observed him using a prosthetic blade to run the London Marathon in support of Help For Heroes.

After thirteen years, Veterans Minister Johnny Mercer stepped in to assist McBean in reclaiming his blue badge. On Tuesday, McBean said his renewal application for the badge has been rejected, according to Daily Mail.

Expressing his frustration, McBean stated, “I don’t know what more I’ve got to do, to be honest. I just didn’t meet certain criteria,” during an interview with TalkTV.

“When I ran the London Marathon a year later for Help for Heroes they took it off me because I had proved I could run, basically.

“So I didn’t have one for 13 years and then Johnny Mercer luckily stepped in and got me my badge back. That lasted two or three years and then the date ran out.

“I’ve just tried to renew it and today I got an email saying it was unsuccessful.”

McBean mentioned online that he did not meet the criteria for his Disability Living Allowance (DLA), which is linked to the qualification for a blue badge. According to Plymouth Council’s website, individuals automatically qualify for a blue badge if they receive the “higher rate mobility component” of DLA.

The veteran broke his ankle on Remembrance Sunday, further limiting his mobility, particularly as he typically relies on one leg.

Expressing his need for assistance, he stated, “It’s my one and only ankle, so I could really do with a badge, to be honest.”

“I was at the hospital today but obviously, I can’t park at any closer bays because my badge is out of date and I’ve been rejected for a new one.”

McBean expressed the desire to appeal the decision regarding his blue badge renewal. However, he noted that delays in receiving a response are quite disheartening, stating, “It can take up to 12 weeks to get a response and obviously I’ve got a broken ankle now.”

On Wednesday, Plymouth City Council said it was working with McBean to renew his application, adding that his earlier application was rejected because it was made under a different name, meaning his details were not recognized.

“Stories in the media saying that war veteran Ben McBean has been refused a Blue Badge renewal are not correct,” Plymouth City Council said in a statement. “We have contacted Mr McBean to help him resolve an issue caused when he submitted a renewal application under a different name, which meant his details were not recognised.”

Veterans Minister Mercer also posted on Wednesday morning that the issue had been resolved. McBean replied, saying he was grateful for his help.

Despite holding a blue badge, McBean, a war hero, has faced accusations of faking his disability. While parking in Plymouth, a woman reported him to a traffic warden for allegedly using a fake badge. McBean explained that the confusion arose because he was wearing skin-colored prosthetics on his leg and arm, which were not immediately noticeable to her.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: March 1, 2024


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