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to ask if AF is considered a disability?

(45 Posts)
Sparklymommy Tue 18-Mar-14 20:23:22

My dh was diagnosed with Atrial Fibrillation about nine months ago. He has been hospitalised (overnight) on 3 or 4 occasions in the past nine months due to this. Would this be considered a disability? He is a hard worker but I am concerned that his work and stress levels are compounding the AF. My SIL feels that this is a disability and we could get some help (which is much needed due to Dh being the only driver in the house/ only worker/ breadwinner).

ohldoneedtogetagrip Tue 18-Mar-14 20:33:00

Sorry l don't think this can be classed as a disability. It is an not uncommon condition and l agree that the stress levels may affect his AF. What sort of help are you looking for?

LittleprincessinGOLDrocks Tue 18-Mar-14 20:34:27

What sort of help do you mean?

Normalisavariantofcrazy Tue 18-Mar-14 20:35:06

Only if the effects are disabiling

Floralnomad Tue 18-Mar-14 20:35:11

I really doubt it would be considered a disability ,I assume he is on medication for it if it is uncontrolled.

Sparklymommy Tue 18-Mar-14 20:40:11

It hadn't even occurred to me that it could be considered a disability until my SIL mentioned it. Yes, he is on medication, but even so we have had a couple of episodes that have required hospitalisation overnight.

My main concern is help with transport when he is unable to drive. Ideally I need to learn to drive, and I know my aunt was funded in this due to her daughter having disabilities many moons ago. When he was first diagnosed he was unable to drive for 4 weeks, as he does the school run this was a major problem!!! I just want some stress taken off of him as I don't think it helps at all!

CrohnicallyChanging Tue 18-Mar-14 20:41:40

The legal definition of disability is that it has a significant, long term effect on day to day life. Or something like that.

I have Crohn's disease which some people are disabled by. However, I don't class myself as having a disability at the moment as provided I take my medication the day to day impact is not that great (incidentally, stress makes my symptoms worse)- I am only affected by it on very bad days.

I also have a neurological condition that I have symptoms of every minute of every day but it's a very minor thing that doesn't have an impact on everyday life. Again, some people with the same condition can have worse symptoms that do affect their day to day life, so they would be disabled by it.

LittleprincessinGOLDrocks Tue 18-Mar-14 20:42:55

You could go to the Citizens Advice Beauro and ask their advice.

AcrylicPlexiglass Tue 18-Mar-14 20:45:46

Does he have heart failure or "just" af?

CrohnicallyChanging Tue 18-Mar-14 20:46:11

To qualify for disability benefits, you must either be significantly impaired in mobility, or significantly impaired by your ability to perform self care tasks, or both. By significantly impaired they mean things like unable to go to the toilet by yourself, or unable to cook a simple meal for yourself.

However, for something specific like learning to drive it is possible there might be grants available via a charity or similar. I'm really not entirely sure, but taking my Crohn's as an example again I know you can apply to one of the major charities for a significant one off cost such as replacing your washing machine so you are not without washing facilities. So there may be something similar out there that you could apply to.

Sparklymommy Tue 18-Mar-14 20:49:16

I'm not sure AcrylicPlexiglass.

I understand that disabilities are a hard thing to judge. It does have a day to day impact on him and he is not the same man he was a year ago. I just wondered really. Thanks for your replies. I'm not out for financial gain, I'd much rather my husband was healthy and not worrying about this constantly!

TheBody Tue 18-Mar-14 20:51:21

hope he's ok soon op. didn't tony Blaire suffer from
the same condition?

AcrylicPlexiglass Tue 18-Mar-14 21:04:53

You would probably know if he had heart failure. I would hope so anyway. Is he under a specialist team? Perhaps they could advise on eligibility for disability benefits?

Is there any chance of you taking on some work in due course? Lots of people do just fine with af and are healthy over many, many years but it might increase your options/lower the pressure on dh and on you all as a family having two workers?

CatsRule Tue 18-Mar-14 21:37:54

My dad had af...he was never considered disabled. It is a debilitating condition...one that nobody can see and few understand.

Sparklymommy Wed 19-Mar-14 08:22:20

I don't want this thread to become a benefits bashing one, but it does make me a bit hmm at times. Dh has always worked and is really struggling with keeping his AF under control and we get no help. Yet I know people on disability who can't work because they can't leave the house alone (unless its to go to the video shop, or anywhere else they WANT to go to) and it makes me so angry.

Chunderella Wed 19-Mar-14 08:24:26

Nothing stopping you from applying for disability related benefits if you want.

OddBoots Wed 19-Mar-14 08:31:00

It may or may not count as a disability but not all disability brings financial support so the two things are discrete. The level of impact on daily life, in particular the need for care from others has to be very high to be awarded anything. Your aunt probably got the money for driving lessons from the Family Fund which is a charity fund for parents with children with disabilities.

There is a bit of advice from the BHF here.

BrownSauceSandwich Wed 19-Mar-14 08:33:24

I don't know about benefits (though where 's the harm in applying: if you're awarded anything it'll only be because you're entitled to it, and if you're not, then nothing's lost). However, it does sound like this condition may be considered a disability as far as employers are concerned (significant effect on day-to-day life; expected to last a year or more). That offers certain protections under the Disability Discrimination Act, and may have a bearing on what sick pay your husband is entitled to when he's ill because of it.

Bonsoir Wed 19-Mar-14 08:35:10

Maybe you should think of moving somewhere where your DH and DC can travel independently on public transport?

GobbySadcase Wed 19-Mar-14 08:36:58

You've utterly lost my sympathy with that last post, OP.

candycoatedwaterdrops Wed 19-Mar-14 08:39:01

I was under the impression that disabilities were not necessarily a diagnosis but how it affects you. My condition is a disability but not everyone with my condition will be eligible for benefits because the condition can go into remission. It's how it affects you.

Bonsoir Wed 19-Mar-14 08:39:19

A family very close to me is currently moving house because the DH is slowly dying of a horrible disease and they need to live in more practical accommodation closer to school and public transport. They don't expect state handouts for this. They do what they have to do...

CwtchesAndCuddles Wed 19-Mar-14 08:40:16

This organisation may provide advice

www.atrialfibrillation.org.uk/

headlesslambrini Wed 19-Mar-14 08:42:55

Yet I know people on disability who can't work because they can't leave the house alone (unless its to go to the video shop, or anywhere else they WANT to go to) and it makes me so angry

If you don't believe they should be getting disability benefits then maybe you should report them or possibly admit that their case maybe more complicated than it appears on the outside and not judge them.

If you want to learn how to drive then save up for the lessons and get your DH to teach you, when he feels up to it.

In terms of carers being given driving lessons - yes this does still happen but it is generally when the person being cared for is not able to access public transport.

JakeBullet Wed 19-Mar-14 08:45:54

You need to rethink your last post OP, those people have a hidden disability too...just like your DH and in many cases it significantly affects their lives.

I have a friend who is just as you described in your last post. She CAN get out to do the things she really wants to do but often it's after hours of plucking up the courage...or even days of plucking up the courage. She has significant mental health problems and yes...she get's lower rate mobility DLA to help her as she needs someone with her to get out.

Just like your DH she has a hidden disability, and you have just judged her and everyone in her position......be aware that people will do the same to your DH if he needs to claim any disability related benefits.....oh and for your info you don't need to be out of work to claim DLA.

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