Have you ever caught yourself wondering why someone is parking in a handicap parking space? Or even judged them for appearing completely able-bodied yet parking so close to the building? It turns out that there are a wide variety of conditions which call for a disabled parking permit. It isn’t just wheelchair-bound, outwardly visible disabilities that make the cut.
We’ve identified the top 10 invisible medical conditions which make a person eligible for a disabled parking permit.
#1 – Lung Disease
Lung disease takes a toll on the ability to breathe and on the body’s stamina. It makes sense that someone who suffers wouldn’t be expected to walk half a mile through a parking lot to reach a building.
#2 – Strokes
If someone is a stroke victim, they can qualify for a disabled parking permit. Strokes are the 5th leading cause of death in the United States. They occur when an area of the brain stops receiving normal blood flow, and can result in blood vessels in the brain bursting or brain cells dying. Consequently, strokes can cause debilitating, but not always obvious, limitations on fine motor skills, issues with speech comprehension and limited mobility.
#3 – Epilepsy
Epilepsy is another brain condition which may not be noticeable unless a person is actively having a seizure. Victims have seizures due to abnormal electrical activity in their brain sending out the wrong signals to the body.
#4 – Mature Age
Age as a reason for accessible parking varies from state-to-state, but in many places, elderly drivers qualify for a disabled parking permit. Check with your DMV or Secretary of State to learn your state’s policy.
#5 – Mental Health
In essence, mental health conditions present as the exact opposite of a cane and wheelchair. Severe depression can interfere with normal energy for walking and anxiety can wreak havoc on a person staring down rows deep of cars, for example.
#6 – Heart Disease
Heart disease patients qualify for a disabled parking permit because of what their condition does to stamina. These individuals may also need to be cautious of uncontrolled blood pressure levels, which can result in a stroke. Some types are congestive heart failure, heart attack, and coronary heart disease.
#7 – Asthma
If someone suffers from asthma or other breathing problems, they too can qualify for a disabled parking permit. While it is different between states, a common test is being unable to walk more than two blocks without stopping for a break. Common causes are emphysema and chronic bronchitis, or the broader chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
#8 – Oxygen Dependent
It is no fun to lug around a heavy oxygen tank or wear a bulky oxygen concentrator. Understandably, those who are oxygen dependent and carry oxygen with them can apply for a disabled parking permit.
#9 – Limited Use of Hands
When considering who should be allowed to use accessible parking, most people name anything creating limited use of legs and feet. But more surprising is that if a driver has limited use of their hands from restrictive arthritis or chronic skin infections, they are able to use a disabled parking permit.
#10 – Limited Vision
On a sunny day, it’s hard for a fully able-sighted person to see across a parking lot. Now imagine a thick, milky coating like cataracts over your vision, or glaucoma from multiple sclerosis. Beyond checking if someone has on glasses, I couldn’t identify who has vision problems. Could you?
There are many reasons people seek disabled parking permits and there is often more than meets the eye.