The Equality Act 2010 defines when someone is disabled and protects them from discrimination. Even if you don’t believe you are disabled, the definition is very broad. You might be eligible if you have dyslexia, learning difficulties, autism, or other disabilities.

Section 6 of the Equality Act 2010 defines this definition. You are considered disabled if you:

You have a mental or physical impairment

This impairment can have a significant and long-lasting adverse effect on your ability carry out daily activities.

Certain impairments can be automatically considered a disability. If you have:

Cancer, including skin cancers that must be removed before they can become cancerous

A visual impairment is when you are certified as either blind, partially sighted, or severely vision impaired.

Multiple sclerosis

Even if you have no symptoms, HIV infection can occur.

A severe, permanent disfigurement, such as severe facial scarring or skin disease.

These topics are covered by Schedule 1, Part 1 and Regulation 7 of Equality Act 2010 (Disability), Regulations 2010.

You should check if you have an impairment

If your mental or physical abilities are impaired, you have an impairment. This could be due to a medical condition, such as arthritis in the hands. It can also mean that you are unable Follow Law to grip or transport items as well as others.

A diagnosis of a medical condition does not necessarily mean that an impairment is present. Stress can cause mental and physical impairments, such as difficulty concentrating or extreme tiredness. However, it must have a significant and lasting adverse effect on your ability daily activities.

As long as your impairment does not make it more difficult, it doesn’t mean you can’t do anything. It can cause pain, slow down things or make it impossible to do an activity twice.

Conditions that aren’t impairments

The Equality Act 2010 doesn’t consider certain conditions to be disabilities. These conditions include:

  • hayfever
  • Tattoos and piercings
  • Exhibitionism or voyeurism
  • A tendency to set things ablaze
  • A tendency to steal
  • A tendency to abuse or physically assault others
  • The complete list can be found in the Equality Act 2010 Disability Regulations 2010.


A disability is not an addiction to alcohol, nicotine, or any other substance.

If your addiction has caused impairment, you may be considered disabled. An impairment Law Helps could be caused by liver disease, depression or alcohol dependence.

If your addiction was caused by medical treatment, or medically prescribed drug, it could also be considered a disability.

Examine if your impairment

Long-term effects are those that have had an effect on you or are likely to continue for at least one year. If you have a long-term effect such as a surgery that makes it difficult to walk for at least one year, then that is considered long-term.

If the effects of your impairment are not likely to cease, it will still be considered long-term. These are called ‘fluctuating and recurring’ effects.

You might experience depression for a few weeks at a stretch, but it stops suddenly. Although each episode of depression lasts for less than 12 months, it can be considered long-term if:

It can have a significant adverse effect on health when it occurs. It could happen again. Even if your impairment is less than one year, it will still be considered long-term.

Schedule 1 of the Equality Act 2010 defines what is long-term.

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