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Showing you're disabled under the Equality Act

Have you ever had to prove you are disabled?

The Equality Act 2010 says you mustn’t be discriminated against because of your disability. However, there are times when we are expected to provide proof, showing you are disabled

When it comes to proving to the person who questions why you are parking in a disabled parking space then the result is clear. You don’t have to. Jamie has been questioned many times. The response depends highly on what mood he is in and what kind of a day he is having.

However, this is not the only time we are asked to prove our condition or disability. There are times when we have to offer proof for legal or official purposes. 

So in this blog we just want to cover off a few areas that will hopefully offer you some assistance. Aimed if you are faced with the issue of showing you are disabled. 

What’s meant by disability?

As laid out in the terms of the law and also in The Equality act a disability is a physical or mental condition which has a long term effect on your daily life.

We recently covered off The Nine Protected Characteristics in a blog. With that research we found that actually being disabled is not exactly a cut and dry subject.  

On looking we found a lot of information on this particular subject. Most of the detail was found on two main websites. The citizens advice website and The Equality and human Rights Commission.

How does the Equality Act define disability?

The Equality Act says a disability is a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on your ability to carry out normal day- to-day activities.

What are day-to-day activities?

Normal day to day activities are activities carried out by most people on a regular basis. There is a long list to consider but a few that is often mentioned are things like. 

    • Walking or driving
    • Washing and getting dressed
    • Cooking, eating
    • Communicating, this includes speaking or writing. 

Other tasks could be containing a level of concentration and understanding as well as being able to form a social relationship.

Now please take into consideration that this is a simple definition and is only a guide. There is no official list. There have been time during assessment I have been asked to carry out one or more of these tasks. I don’t always succeed.

What’s meant by substantial adverse effect?

To be considered to have a disability, your condition must have what is described as a substantial adverse effect on your daily life. Yes this means that it has to have more than a minor effect. It does not mean you are unable to do something completely. To be considered as substantial it has to be clear that it is more difficult. 

What if you have medical treatment or aids which make your condition better?

This is an area that for many will carry a very grey cloud. Especially if you are looking at a PIP application.

However, in the eyes of the equality act. If you receive medical treatment or use aids your condition will still be considered as having a substantial effect.

The use of a wheelchair or a hearing aid assists in making a condition easier to live with. It does not mean you no longer have the condition.

What if you have a condition which gets worse over time?

Dementia! Motor neurone disease! These are progressive conditions and even though they start off as a minor condition with minor effects to your daily life. They are going to get worse over time. With conditions like this it does not matter it would still be treated as a disability. 

If you have treatment for a progressive condition and that treatment makes you better. For example, cancer you would no longer be considered as disabled. But, if the condition is not completely cured and you are still effected, then you would still be considered disabled. 

What’s meant by long-term?

Long term is kind of what it says. However, there are defined situations. If the adverse effect has lasted for more than 12 months or is likely to last more than 12 months this is considered long term. Also if the condition is expected to last the rest of your life. If it would be considered that you will not live for 12 months then this would still be considered long term. 

You may develop another condition directly related to you original condition. If this lasts for more than 12 months it would be long term. Some conditions re-occur and can have flare ups and episodes. These would still be covered as long term under The Equality Act.

Summary

Hopefully the information above will offer you some guidance. We are by no means experts but with Jamie’s condition we have had to follow very similar guidelines. As for CRPS Complex Reginl Pain Syndrome. We are faced with a disability that is very misunderstood if you are also faced with this issue we would love to hear from you. How have you coped and what have you had to face. 

Please get in touch.

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