How do I know if my disability is covered by the Equality Act?

The Equality Act requires you to show that you have 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. The government has published this guidance on the definition of 'disability' (PDF, 789KB).

There is also advice and guidance provided by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).

Individual physical impairments are not listed in the Equality Act. Instead, you must have been able to satisfy the statutory test for disability, on the date that you suffered the less favourable treatment.

Talk to your union rep and your GP and take legal advice (from, for example, your local Citizens Advice Bureau.

Long-term means the disability must have lasted, or can be expected to last, at least 12 months. People with a fluctuating condition that is likely to recur within 12 months are covered.

Some progressive conditions, for example, cancer or multiple sclerosis, are included from the moment of diagnosis.

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.

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