Arthritis classed as disability?

JenniferB27 Member Posts: 74
Apologies if this has been asked before but I have within the last year been diagnosed with OA in both knees, both thumbs joints and possibly my shoulder. Consultant says that there is no cure and will only deteriorate with age, I am 45. Does this mean that I now have a disability?


  • applerose
    applerose Member Posts: 3,621
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    It will be interesting to hear what people have to say. When my GP said she thought I had RA, she put me on the sick for 2 weeks. As I wouldn't get paid, I applied for benefits and was told I could say I was disabled if I wanted to. I don't really consider myself to be disabled but I do find doing some things difficult now which I used to do without a thought.
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 3,635
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Good morning all
    the definition of disability according to the disability discrimination act is
    You’re disabled under the Equality Act 2010 if you have a physical or mental impairment that has a ‘substantial’ and ‘long-term’ negative effect on your ability to do normal daily activities.

    There is further explanation of this definition here
    Interesting discussion
    Best Wishes
  • helpline_team
    helpline_team Posts: 3,020
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Jennifer B27,

    Sharon’s answer above explains out the legal definition of disability – thanks Sharon :)

    Beyond the legal definition, the word disability can have different meanings for different people. Some people meet the legal definition but do not consider themselves disabled.

    Sometimes this is because they have adapted to living with their impairment to the point that they do not feel disabled by it. Sometimes it is because people have an image or idea of a disabled person that they do not identify with.

    I have used the word ‘impairment’ – this is a word that many disabled people use to describe their long-term physical, mental or sensory limitation instead of the word ‘disability.’ In this approach, people are not disabled by their impairment but by the attitudes and practical barriers they face in their daily lives. This is known as the ‘social model of disability’ because it looks at the way people are ‘disabled’ by the society they live in.

    In terms of access to services or benefits, there is no single definition of ‘disability’ because it depends what you are trying to apply for. NHS Choices gives a helpful list of services and benefits, with a brief explanation of how to apply:

    I hope this helps. Do come back to the helpline if you have any further queries.

    Best wishes,

    Rachael, Helplines Worker