Is IBS a Disability?
The answer to this question depends on if you are looking for a legal definition or for an empathetic answer.
As an IBS sufferer for over 20 years, I consider having IBS a disabling factor in my life. From a legal perspective, the level of protection you might be offered when off work sick or looking for state assistance will be dependant on whether you qualify as disabled as described within the Equality Act 2010.
Not all IBS sufferers consider themselves to have a disability, but in practice, you may qualify for protection against discrimination.
From an employment perspective If you are considered to have a disability because of your condition, you have the right to request a ‘reasonable adjustment’, to your working life.
What can be considered as reasonable adjustments?
- Granting you time off for medical appointments or to undergo treatment
- A more lenient view on the amount of time off you allowed as sickness or to get treatment as long as it is related to your disability
- Granting you a shorter or more flexible working arrangement
- Allowing you to work from home or relocating your desk to be nearer toilet facilities
- Providing you with a car parking space close to the entrance to your work premises
- Allowing unlimited toilet breaks
When it comes to gaining State help in the UK, you would need to meet the criteria for qualifying for Personal Independence Payments (PIP) or disabled living Allowance
It would seem at the current time that having IBS alone is not considered a disability when it comes to the issuing of disabled blue badges, and there is currently an active petition to try to get the government to reconsider this position. If you want to view the petition this can be done by clicking Is IBS a Disability