Fibromyalgia Action UK

Becoming 'disabled'


Hoping someone can help with this!

I have chronic back and neck pain and associated neuropathy problems. I have also been an outpatient of pain clinic for 4 years, and when I see them in Jan I'm going to ask to be re-assessed for fibro, as I believe I match many of the symptoms.

I work as a teacher and had occ. health come out last week to measure me up for a special chair. She said that I probably qualify under the equality act, as my condition is long-term and affects my day-to-day activities. I've read that there is now no facility to 'register' as disabled - and i've never thought i would need to, as i don't think i'd be entitled to any benefits etc. However, I had a day off sick last week and on my return to work form i was asked whether my sickness was as a result of a disability. I ticked 'yes' and now work are questioning it, saying i hadn't informed them of a disability etc etc. Does anyone have any advice on what I should do? I'm a bit confused by it all!

Louise x

9 Replies

I think the DLA/ PIP are the nearest you can get to being registered disabled. Although people often see these as a form of finance they do also give you access to other benefits such as a Blue Badge.

It can be hard to accept that you are disabled and must be a bit like "coming out".

Hope the chair helps.

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I still find it really hard to see myself as disabled even though I have been awarded PIP for mobility problems and have applied for a blue badge! It will take a long time for me to accept it.

I would explain the health problems that you have and how it affects your everyday life. You could apply for PIP, take a look at PIP questions on google and see if you think you would qualify x

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Getting in touch with Social Services registered me disabled with my local council if that is any help.


Except you don't need to be receiving any benefit to get a Blue Badge (I've had one for 2 years) and I thought you are classed as "disabled" if you know yourself you have an illness/condition that does (or will) affect you for more than a year...........when I rang my local council they said there was no longer any such thing as being registered as disabled?


I am registered disabled, I went through Surrey County Council. I have a membership card I have never been asked for it


Hi Louise,

My advice is to go to your local council, there you can:

1. Apply for a yellow card- which confirms your disability in their eyes, it also means that if you were desperate for a wee whilst out shopping, you can use staff facilities in shops, if public on are not available. I think you can download the application form.

2. You can apply for your blue badge, bear in mind that things have changed, as now they need to see a records of doctors/hospital appointments relating to 'your' disability, which should be mainly related to your walking ability. I think you need to phone them and ask for an application.

3. Even though you are working you can still apply for DLA, mobility. Now that your workplace and Occ- Health are involved, along with your history of treatment and appointments, the blue badge and yellow card; you have enough evidence for your application to be taken seriously. Phone the DWP for an application form.

This is probably the hardest part, as it is a very long form and process, with dual meaning questions appearing more than once, designed, I think to catch you out. For example, Q: 'Do you have problems sitting for a long period of time'? A: Yes, can sit comfortably for 20 minutes. Later on the question might be: How you spend your evenings? A: Watching TV. Q: What programmes do you watch etc? it will assume that you are sitting down to watch to TV, and by the time you have totted up the length of the programmes, it will confirm that you are able to sit for several hours without problem, therefore a contradiction of the first question related to sitting.

The secret is to read every question carefully and fill it in as accurately and as fully as you possibly can. Add in any additional information that you feel is relevant, e.g. with sitting watching TV, explain that you are fidgety, have to keep standing up, feel in pain etc. If you feel the form doesn't quite fit your particular needs, then give them the information on a separate sheet of paper. Send the form back with copies of any of the above documentation. Be very thorough, as otherwise it will be rejected.

Good luck and I hope this has been of use to you.



Hi loufoy :)

I'm not an expert on this topic but hopefully can point you in the direction of where to find or get help :)

There are a number of agencies that you could make enquiries regarding this matter most of which are discussed on our Mothersite in the benefits section.

Here is a direct link for you :)

Benefits and Fibro


A site that I personally use is when looking for answers connected to Disibility Rights and here is a direct link for you :)

There may be some useful contact numbers etc that you could use and I hope that you can find a resolution soon and send soft fluffie hugs to you :)

xxx sian :)


Hi loufoy

I am so sorry to read of your problems relating to this, and I can see that you have been given some wonderful advice and some great links to follow up on. The one thing that I would say is that Fibro is recognised as a disability under the Equalities Act of 2012, so knowing this may come in handy for you?

All my hopes and dreams for you

Ken x


Thank you for all of your replies. I really do appreciate it. I think the main reason I want to 'label' is a bit of justification - as with a lot of 'hidden' illnesses, I can often seem perfectly fine but actually be in agony. Yet I still wouldn't feel comfortable using a disabled seat on public transport, for example, as I would feel that I didn't have the right. I also think it may help to justify my rubbish attendance record at work. But I can't see it as being as simple as me just 'deciding' that I am now classified as such!

I will give my local council a call and see what they think. Thank you. Am starting to realise that if I am struggling this much at 28, then teaching is not going to be suitable for me long-term, and - much as I love my job - I will need to start getting some alternatives lined up. Preferably something I can do on my back (but not in that way!!)

Thanks again.



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