Is AF classed as a disability?

I'm under scrutiny at work with regard to sickness surrounding my AF and the lead up to that last episode (3 months of untreated viral illness)and my union rep said I should now be classed as disabled because I now have a condition that is going to affect me for the rest of my life. Has anyone on here registered themselves disabled with AF alone and not other conditions?

13 Replies

  • Loo53,

    As far as I'm aware its not a disability, an ablation for many people will end there Af episodes and enable them to lead a normal Af free life.

  • But maybe not, and according to severity, can be a disabilituy


  • I had open heart surgery last year wich was a success, in march this year i had cardioversion which again worked i was at tha hospital on monday for my final check up before returning to work..,and i was given the bad new that i was back in af its not guaranteed to work for everyone

  • Hi Loo

    Sorry to here about this and your problems at work, I was for a long while on the other "side of the fence" as an employer with a fair number of staff, so perhaps I can assist.

    Any condition which is lasts more than 12 months, or is "progressive" in it's effect on your ability to work can be classified as disabled by an employer, and asking for it to treated as such is your right. They would find it difficult to refuse if the medical evidence was to confirm this.

    Some conditions such as some cancers and MS automatically qualify from the date of diagnosis, but AF is not listed amongst those.

    Having said that, of course many people with AF, once treated, can work completely normally, and although I would encourage people never to think of themselves as "cured" but rather symptomless, you might struggle to get medical evidence that AF wwill be progressive, and with treatment in many cases it is not.

    However, and I am sure that your union rep has advised you of this, being classified as disabled, only means that any employer has more hoops to jump through to deal with your situation, they have to at least try and find a working pattern wihich works for you, give you reasonable time off for medical visits etc, and they are covered by an additional requirement to ensure that you are not discriminated against on the grounds of your disability/condition.

    What it does not mean, I regret to say, and you do need to be aware of this, is that any employer who cannot find a method that works for you AND them in terms of working together can still terminate an employment contract, disabled or not. It simply means that the employer needs to demonstrate that they have tried to find ways to work with you and that they have not discrminated, being classified as disabled. It does NOT give you employment protection.

    I think involving the union is a great idea, and good luck with your negotiations with your employer.


  • I have had AF since before 1992 and also mild lung condition some years ago. I had put this on the employment form. I still have episodes and I have been told that they will not do any more operations or procedures.

    In 2008 I had lung failure and was off work for 5.5 months. As a result of this event my lungs have been damaged and will only get worse over time. This has also made the Af a little more unstable. when I went back to work I was told that I would get a Written Warning for the time off work! I told them that they were aware of my previous conditions and if they proceed I will take it further! I spoke to the EOC who stated that if they did give me a written warning they would take measures and view to prosecute. The reason being that not only my conditions had changed but I had made them aware before I started work and the OT called me to discuss my AF and lung problems. This meant that their general HR conditions did not apply and they have to treat me under the Disability Discrimination Act. They did not proceed with the Written Warning.

    Good Luck

    Be Well

  • AF is not classed as a disability as far as I am aware .Many people (Beancounter for one ) live normal lives with it. The problem is we are all different so you would have to go before a tribunal and prove that you are disabled by it.



  • Hi. I had severe AF quite severe, and six years ago went before a tribunal and was accepted as disabled. I didn't like it but that's the way it was. Ablation therapy changed that two years later, but the AF returned, two years after that, and things became difficult again. Fortunately, it has not been as severe as it was prior ablation and I can do most things now without much problem, as long as i'm on the meds. Another ablation looms...

  • Hi

    I was advised by Occupational Health that my condition comes under the Equalities Act 2010 (which incorporated the Disability Discrimination Act). The reason for this was due to my being on permanent medication to control the condition. It does seem quite odd as I live an active life, given what other people have to cope with.

  • Thank you for all your kind replies I will ponder on all of this. I had my meeting today and my employer although not happy with my sickness since I became permanent last October they are prepared to support me and have extended what ever they extend to a further 6 months so that I can have my ablation treatment. As long as I am not off in the meantime.

  • I think the problem you have Loo is that you have only been permanent for six months. Unless your part time employment was on a full contract basis I am sure that your employer can terminate your contract within your first 12 months without giving much of a reason. It appears to me that you have quite a reasonable employer and you should try and keep "onside" with your managers and the HR people.

    I had similar issues with you, but I have been employed there for 35 years. The company decided to get a medical report off ATOS (I have had 3 more since). And on each of these reports it states that in their opinion I should be treated as having a disability as the condition has lasted longer than 12 months. As Beancounter mentioned earlier this is not necessarily a positive thing as they are now looking at me in regards to CAPABILITY. Which is bascially am I capable of performing my role?

    This has lead me to stop talking about my condition and to cover up any instances I have, which are gladly now few and far between since my fourth ablation. And I have not had a shift off for five months.

    So to sum up, you need to keep them onside and reassure them that your condition is likely to get better given treatment. Also I hope you mentioned that the viral illness exacerbated your AF and that it was an unusual circumstance that may not happen again.

    Good Luck x

  • I imagine that it depends upon how severe the AF is and whether there are other associated problems. I assume that your doctor will be the one to adjudicate on this. If you have no other symptons you will probably find that the DVLA will allow you to drive but I don't know if this is an indicator of non disability. In the final analysis doctors will have to decide this question. Good Luck !

  • Unfortunately it isnt as clear as that Lenana. My doctor feels that my AF isn`t classed as a disability, but the medical advice that my employers have paid for states that it is a disability. Having a medical disability in the workplace isn`t the same as being classed as Disabled.

    Clear as mud innit ;)

  • I think I will try and not go down the disability road for the time as it seems to complex and being as generally I'm fit and well and yes I did make it clear that the consultant and I agreed it was the viral illness that gave me the AF and I managed to put that across the table in my first formal. Sure I will be staying on the right side of them Timmo50 and besides unlike many in my workplace who lead swing I've never been one of them and they know this I'm glad to say....'))

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