Lower limb lymphoedema and Equality Act 2010 - LSN


4,735 members2,220 posts

Lower limb lymphoedema and Equality Act 2010


Is lower limb (ankle/foot) primary lymphoedema ever considered a disability under The Equality Act 2010?

6 Replies

Yes, it is. Gets complicated, though. It can depend on the cause of your Lymphoedema (cancer cause should be automatically covered). My understanding is that Lymphoedema can be included in disability stats for an employer. However, to have adjustments made (under the act) it then comes down to the impact their Lymphoedema has on an individual.

Is the Equality Act in the United States. And what do you have to do to qualify.


Draculas in reply to deland44

I meant the UK Equality Act 2010 - as many U.K. employers ask on job application forms if you are considered disabled under the Equality Act 2010 - and I’m never sure whether to say yes or no!

Not disabled - but know I could become unable to walk if I have to sit or stand for too long in a job (or on way to job), especially in summer

I have lower limb lymphoedema, diagnosed as primary (as unsure of cause) initially in my right top of foot/ankle from 2010 (with recurring cellulitis 2012-2017) but now in both ankles - probably due to weight gain from inactivity since 2015

I had to give up working as a Childminder in 2015 as could only hobble slowly due to foot swelling and was on my feet all day from 7am to 7pm, with just a quick sit down for lunch

Before doing that I’d spent 20+ years sitting at a desk in front of a computer - for WAY too many hours at a stretch!

During Covid lockdown I massaged my feet/ankles/legs after watching YouTube videos on lymphatic drainage and also discovered increasing my iron levels, with plenty of “feet up” time, has helped immensely. I haven’t needed to wear my compression stockings since March 2020

I really don’t want cellulitis ever again! Last time was 2017. First time was 2002 I think, as not sure if doctor at hospital said cellulitis or sepsis (in right leg) as I was too busy worrying about my breastfed 8 month old baby (at home with dad) as I was on intravenous antibiotics!

I recall the doctor saying he couldn’t find any injury or bite or mark and telling me what it was and me replying “Never heard of that! Is it like Septicaemia?” He then said it was a type of blood poisoning. He gave me his mobile number and instruction to return at once if I got worse, as not supposed to discharge me - but he felt sorry for my baby! Unfortunately there’s no record of this hospital visit on my GP records. I’d had a bad headache and 2 red lines - travelling from ankle up and groin down - but hadn’t realised I was ill until NHS helpline (to query red lines) told me to go to hospital IMMEDIATELY and then hospital said my temperature was 104!

I’m somewhat immune to antibiotics (last taken in 2006 for 2 weeks) after decades of taking them from age 5 for chest infections/bronchitis but I haven’t had a bad chest infection since I stopped taking antibiotics (2006)!

Apologies for essay, but this covers everything

AnneBury in reply to Draculas

My view is that you can tick the disability box on a job application form - because you have a chronic / long term medical condition which could severely affect you if not managed properly. Of course, you don't know what would actually happen if you didn't do your best to manage your Lymphoedema, but you would appear to be covered.

I am currently a trustee (lower leg Lymphoedema). I am active, busy etc and don't consider I need 'reasonable adjustments'. However, a social care organisation of which I am a trustee did research whether I could be classed as disabled in the stats and the answer was 'Yes'. However, there is no way I would get any disability benefits.

It is not uncommon for people to have no idea how they might have got cellulitis. Have you looked on the website of the Lymphoedema Support Network? They have lots of information including on cellulitis. lymphoedema.org

Draculas in reply to AnneBury

Thank you - that’s very helpful

BedfordBoy in reply to Draculas

Hi Draculas, your story rings a bell or two with me! Yes, from what you've said, you can be classed as disabled. In my case I made sure HR at work and my manager were fully aware of the consequences of my medical issues and I am classed as disabled. I've already got a blue badge for my car and use the disabled bay at work without feeling guilty. My boss has been supportive of me and I know that it was a good thing I disclosed my problems to them. For a couple of years I was embarrassed to tell them until I ended up in hospital, then I had to open up to them.

You should also qualify for the pip from the government, although they try every trick to not pay you. You can claim this even if you are working. For years I didn't claim as I thought it was only non working people who qualified. By chance, my supervisor at work was getting pip and explained to me the criteria.

Benefits and work is a good organisation to join for advice.

Hope this info helps.

You may also like...