fibro IS A DISABILITY!: I remember... - Fibromyalgia Acti...

Fibromyalgia Action UK

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NWG23 profile image
41 Replies

I remember someone on here once mentioning that when filling in forms like medical questionaires for Occ health medicals they always say they have Fibro and class it as a disability. I gave this some though for a while then decided to stick my neck out and class myself as having a disability too. I was a bit nervous about doing it even though the forms say they aim to be an equal employer and encourage applications from disabled people. However, the result is that I now have two new HCSW 'bank' jobs with a hospice and the NHS and I only have to work core shifts not long days or nights! I'm so glad I took that advice otherwise I think I'd still be telling myself not to bother. Thanks everyone for all your input & advice making this community a great support network. Nwg x

41 Replies
TheAuthor profile image


I think that is absolutely wonderful! I am so pleased for you and it just shows that there are people out there who really do understand that Fibro is a disability. Thank you so much for sharing this with us all, it's truly marvelous.

All my hopes and dreams for you

Ken x

agtf1 profile image

Well done, I know the first time admitting to yourself and others that u have a disability is tough! Congratulations on the jobs xxx

Furry profile image

Congratulations on your new jobs, it's good to hear of someone having success with

Their fibro in employment. Good luck and take care. X

Fermerwill profile image

I think it's best to be honest with employers that you tell them you have fibro so at times of flares they can hopefully support you

beckyglen profile image

Congratulations on your new jobs and also for being brave enough to be honest on the applications!


Claris1 profile image

I am in the process of applying for jobs as i am going through redundancy. Did you tell them you had fibre or wait till your interview? Congratulations on your jobs :-)

NWG23 profile image
NWG23 in reply to Claris1

hI, when I had to fill in my health questionnaire there was a question, Do you consider yourself to have a disability YES/NO? So at first I circled NO then I wondered about it then circled YES then as I was still unsure I just put a question mark beside both answers. I felt YIKES maybe I've blown it now but I knew I couldn't do long days and night duty so I thought I'd risk it and sent the form in anyway. The result was that for one job I had to have a telephone interview based on my answers and for the other job I actually had to go in to see the Occ health officer (at which point I felt that's going to be the nail in the coffin) but I was wrong and I was cleared to start work. I'm so glad its worked out like this because I know my limitations and I know I still have a lot of experience to give so why should fibro rob me of a nice little job that know I can do given a few adjustments like to hours on my feet. Go for it, these days they have to be fair about disability. Lets face it we know what we are capable of and wouldn't be so stupid as to apply for something beyond our capabilities. I just know that if I do too much I won't be fit for anything, work or play so its in both our interests to be honest so they get the best out of me and I get the best out of them. If I have a flare up it won't come as a surprise to them but hopefully this way that can be avoided. x

Lruk profile image

Congratulations on your new jobs and thank you for sharing this.

kkkk profile image

I also found my life changed when I accepted that I had a disability (fibro) comparable with diabetes or some other "manageable(ish) but life-changing" condition. This decision was helped by being told, and given a letter to show employers, that I was officially disabled by a medical professional (pain management clinic). First I stopped hoping for a cure and accepted that this was something I would have to live with. Second, I stopped giving myself such a hard time about it. Third, I felt more confident about telling people about it. Fourth I made life-style changes. Five, I was less depressed. Six, I was able to make sensible decisions.

NWG23 profile image
NWG23 in reply to kkkk

I think I was apprehensive about saying I had a disability because I had no letter to say so. However, as I had to give permission for them to contact my GP I knew my medical history would support my claim to having fibro. However, I signed a form to say that if they contacted my GP I wanted to opt for the 21 days in which to view the letter from my GP to them. Anyway, I need not have worried because neither Occ health officer approached my GP. Tbh as I was applying to NHS & other I'd assume they would be understanding & know about fibro anyway? Maybe other agencies might not, I don't know?

Lucyhobbit profile image
Lucyhobbit in reply to NWG23

Congratulations, I always had that guilty feeling that I wasn't 'properly disabled' (no-one ever used the words) but since it forces me to make adaptations to my every day life, it is a dis-ability. I still feel guilty at times about using my walking stick, again because no-one medical told me I could use one - but it means I get about more on bad days so its a good thing.

bluebell10 profile image
bluebell10 in reply to Lucyhobbit

hi lucyhobbitt,reading your post felt just like im reading about myself,i know what you mean about the stick thing,i feel like people think im a fake especially when i see people i havn't seen for a while if im out & they go " oh whats wrong with you" or what have you done,its so awkward isn't it,or the time i went to dr's & she said "why have you got a stick" i told her for support,keeping my balance & i lean on it,its like they don't believe how bad the pain gets,i was given mine by a friend who thought i needed it.which admitedly i do when im out,hate it x

fenbadger profile image
fenbadger in reply to NWG23

Sorry this is a bit late to say the least In addition to what I said before:

Unbelievably, not a chance!

The staff you deal with in the front line for work are not medics. Reluctantly I have to refrain from saying what I really think. However I bet they did not pursue the letter because of the cost. Even within the same organisation (see Mrs Somerset's post on this) the way budgeting is done means they would have to pay the GPs invoice!

And congrats, how's the job going? Have you started yet?

NWG23 profile image
NWG23 in reply to fenbadger

It was a breeze in the end, no letter from my GP required. If that was due to budgeting what the heck I got the jobs! I'm loving both jobs thanks. Working two days a week in each hospital doing a mix of early and back shifts approx. 24 hrs a week. It's great to see the nurses appreciating my experience even if I'm now working as a level 2 I don't care I'm fulfilled and busy which is just what the doctor ordered! Its organised chaos on the wards due to short staffing nothing changes there but I'm in my comfort zone yay.

fenbadger profile image
fenbadger in reply to NWG23

Which is therapy in itself. I'm very pleased for you. :)

Haven't heard the term backshift for years :)

NWG23 profile image
NWG23 in reply to fenbadger

Thanks. Obviously showing my age - it was always a backshift in my day!

fenbadger profile image
fenbadger in reply to NWG23

Ouch. Didn't mean it that way. They seem to use it up north more than down here. You may smack me :P

Soulful Badger eyes :O

NWG23 profile image
NWG23 in reply to fenbadger

Haha no offence taken - I am a northerner when all is said and done anyway.

fenbadger profile image
fenbadger in reply to NWG23

You may still smack me :P

I lived 10 years on North York Moors :)

in reply to kkkk

You said that very well and that's where I hope to be sometime soon. I applied for DLA because I thought if I got it I would start to accept it. Didn't get it of course but I do now accept that I have to learn to live with it and stop fighting it. Been a very long time coming !

pugwash80 profile image

Well done xxx

Shortnsweet54 profile image


great news on the job front. It really is quite difficult to think of ourselves as disabled due to the perceptions of disability and the fact it's an "invisible" illness. All we can do is what we can, when we can, if we are able to. I hope your jobs go well. xx

I hope the post below clarifies for everyone what the dwp has to say about fibro. I copy this and send it with all my forms when i have to fill them in. doesn't do any harm to reminf dwp of their own rules !!


The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) has restated that they recognise Fibro as a potentially significantly disabling condition. This isn't the first time they have officially stated this, but up-to-date reiterations of this can't hurt when people with Fibro are still being led to believe that Fibro "doesn't count" when considering eligibility for benefits.

David Morris MP (Morecambe and Lunesdale, Conservative) asked the question:

"To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether he has considered recognising fibromyalgia in the benefits system."

Maria Miller MP (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Disabled People), Work and Pensions; Basingstoke, Conservative) responded on 18 June with:

"The Department recognises fibromyalgia as a potentially significantly disabling condition.

Where a clinical diagnosis of fibromyalgia has been made, full account will be taken of its disabling effects in determining eligibility for benefits." dwp...

NWG23 profile image
NWG23 in reply to Shortnsweet54

Thanks for posting that, really helpful!

Mdaisy profile image
Mdaisy in reply to NWG23

Hello Newsaysgirl

Please see the original post so you can copy & paste the link so you can find it quickly if needed;

Many Thanks

fibrofitt profile image

Well done on getting into the paid workplace again.

Pace yourself and rest when you need to. You will know what you can do and when the time comes to stop!

Now you are working, contact Access to Work. You will find your local office online. Apply for the support you will need to sustain your working life - this could be a suitble chair and keyboard for computer work, help to get to work if you cant use buses, a personal assistant etc. You are disabled under the Equality Act 2010 and this service is there to support you at work. And to stay in work. Best of luck.

NWG23 profile image
NWG23 in reply to fibrofitt

Good advice should I need it but so far so good. I wonder if I'd get free parking at the hospital though? ( I'm told to expect to pay upwards of £7 per day depending on length of shift!) Shifts start so early and to get there by bus I'd have to be up at stupid o'clock so driving in would give me precious extra sleep (not that I sleep well at all) but less sleep more pain! Would I need a drs letter to send into Action to work to get this do you know?

fibrofitt profile image
fibrofitt in reply to NWG23

No. Go direct to Access to work in your local area. Tell them why you need to use the car (energy, get stressed when among crowds of people etc) and ask them to meet the cost of the parking. They may plead that its not a necessity for you to take a car but you need to stick by your story as to why you need the car. Additionally, ask your employer for 'reasonable adjustment' of lesser charge for you as a disabled person needing to use your car to access your workplace. Again they may say they cant do this as all other staff will want the same but keep to the reasonable adjustment argument and take it to the highest available employer at your workplace. All this stuff is available online but feel free to contact me if you need more advice. Good luck.

NWG23 profile image
NWG23 in reply to fibrofitt

Thanks, will do

Ginsing profile image

Best of luck to you Newaysgirl, I am so pleased for you.. xxgins

Bumblebee profile image

Well done on job front and thanks for posting, as it has brought out some great comments and facts relevant for everyone. I class myself as disabled but others around me think I am making it all up for the benefits. lol, I don't care what they think, just as long as I know and those that matter do. I'm not afraid to speak out when I feel the need to, but refuse to answer for myself to those who in fact wouldn't change their minds anyway! I suppose you will find ignorant a****les in all walks of life! Good luck in your jobs xxx

Weelamb profile image

Yay well done. Hope all works out 4u& ur new venture:-) x

Shortnsweet54 profile image

you're welcome, got lots of little snippets tucked away in a file, because of course with fibro fog you can't temember where you saw them . Whenever i send in as ESA50 etc, i always makw sure i enclose that xx

Mdaisy profile image
Mdaisy in reply to Shortnsweet54

Thank You for posting this however it would be better in future if you copied & pasted the link, so the member can access the post directly;

Shortnsweet54 profile image
Shortnsweet54 in reply to Mdaisy

Hi Mdaisy, sorry it didn't occur to me to put the link on....

in the search box right top of the page type in ... fibromyalgia and dwp

scroll down to the 3rd 4th post and the info is there.. very interesting reading


Mdaisy profile image
Mdaisy in reply to Shortnsweet54

Hello Jan,

Thank You for you comment to help this member. No need to apologise just a gentle reminder to paste the link as this is easier and the member may benefit from reading the comments too :)

Best Wishes

Emma :)

Shortnsweet54 profile image
Shortnsweet54 in reply to Mdaisy

(y) x

fenbadger profile image

I won't speak about fibro particularly, but disability or not is a bit debateable at times. I also have type 2 diabetes and IBS. I reckon the latter is a disability but not the former (I can still drive a train and if I were a pilot, I could still fly as long as it's controlled by tablets or diet). The need to be near a loo in a flare up is fairly obvious and can be a problem. Legally something might not be a problem but I think the bigger problem is ignorance and prejudice. The posts on this site confirm that. It's brownie points to the employer who adapts rather than sacks. Fear and ignorance is a bad combination. With what I have, and still experimenting with fibro meds, I'm still more reliable than some colleagues, and indeed former colleagues! I'm quietly predicting that I will keep one job and lose the other. strange world. :P :P

Congrats :) :)

lumely profile image

Well done and good luck for the future!

NWG23 profile image

Thanks for all your good wishes and nuggets of good advice everyone. Glad I've managed to encourage folk. Where there's a will there is obviously a way!! x

bluebell10 profile image

congratuations! im really happy for & hope you enjoy your new job :) xx

booohooo profile image

Newaysgirl good luck in yr new job give yrself pat on back boohoo xx

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