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    What counts as disability?
    • #1
    • 19th Oct 08, 1:22 AM
    What counts as disability? 19th Oct 08 at 1:22 AM
    Hope no one minds but it struck me that we needed this thread. Since 1995 when the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) came into being, whether or not someone 'counts' as being a disabled person tends to be decided by the legal definition of disability in the DDA, the following information is cut and pasted from here, I've highlighted the important bits (IMHO) in red.

    Definition of 'disability' under the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA)

    The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) defines a disabled person as someone who has a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his or her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

    The definition

    For the purposes of the Act:
    • substantial means neither minor nor trivial
    • long term means that the effect of the impairment has lasted or is likely to last for at least 12 months (there are special rules covering recurring or fluctuating conditions)
    • normal day-to-day activities include everyday things like eating, washing, walking and going shopping
    • a normal day-to-day activity must affect one of the 'capacities' listed in the Act which include mobility, manual dexterity, speech, hearing, seeing and memory
    Some conditions, such as a tendency to set fires and hay fever, are specifically excluded.

    People who have had a disability in the past that meets this definition are also covered by the scope of the Act. There are additional provisions relating to people with progressive conditions.

    The DDA 2005 amended the definition of disability. It ensured that people with HIV, cancer and multiple sclerosis are deemed to be covered by the DDA effectively from the point of diagnosis, rather than from the point when the condition has some adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.
    Last edited by mcspanna; 19-10-2008 at 10:10 AM. Reason: sort out hyperlink and highlighting
Page 19
  • iKit
    PS: Ophie, be careful of your language too. If you say "I can walk 50 yards, but it leaves me in severe pain", all they will hear is "I can walk 50 yards". Phrase it differently: "I cannot walk 50 yards without severe pain and without experiencing severe fatigue. As a result of attempting to walk 50 yards I would be unable to..." [insert whatever is true].

    Your condition is very different to mine, but it sounds as if it has some similar effects. So for instance, if I try to walk more than a few yards it leaves me in so much pain that I can't do anything else that day, and so exhausted that I'm unable to do even basic things like taking a shower the following day. Being able to wash is obviously a matter of fundamental human dignity, and spelling it out on a form is very effective (if rather degrading). If things like that are the reality of living with your condition, though, you are unfortunately likely to have to spell them out in order succeed with an application. The problem is that pain and fatigue can't be measured in a test, so all you can do is to tell the DWP about the effects that they have.

    Sorry, I'll shut up burbling now!
    • Ophie
    • By Ophie 16th Jan 14, 9:00 PM
    • 4,761 Posts
    • 8,986 Thanks
    iKit thank you, that was very useful.

    I have contacted a disability representative and he will be accompanying me to the tribunal, but we're waiting for a date. They did state on the letter it could take up to 29 weeks before a date is allocated.
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