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of everyone affected by epilepsy


The Disability Discrimination Act

This information about the Disability Discrimination Act applies to people in Northern Ireland. If you live in England, Scotland or Wales see our information about the Equality Act.

If you are looking for information about disability discrimination in another country, please contact your local epilepsy organisation.

The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) first came into force in 1995. It is still in use by people in Northern Ireland, unlike England, Scotland and Wales, where the Equality Act protects people with disabilities. The DDA aims to reduce discrimination against disabled people. It says that disabled people shouldn’t be treated less well than non-disabled people.

Am I considered to be disabled if I have epilepsy?

You are likely to be classed as disabled by the Disability Discrimination Act if:

  • You have epilepsy that has a substantial effect on your day-to-day activities or
  • Your epilepsy would have a substantial effect if you were not taking your epilepsy medicine. A substantial effect might include being able to get around, hear, see, remember and concentrate or
  • You have a type of epilepsy that is not currently causing any problems or needs epilepsy medicine, but could come back or
  • Your epilepsy has lasted, or is expected to last, for at least 12 months

However, only a disability tribunal could say for certain whether your epilepsy means you  are classed as disabled under the Disability Discrimination Act, or not.

Event Date: 
Friday 13 May 2016 - 09:46

Epilepsy Action would like to thank Carl Graham, solicitor and partner in UK law firm DWF LLP for reviewing this information.

Carl Graham has declared no conflict of interest.

This information has been produced under the terms of The Information Standard.

Comments: read the 5 comments or add yours


I’ve had Epilepsy since I was 13, I’m 58. I’m currently now on Universal Credit but was discounted for PIP although I have an appeal going through. My Dr asks to see me every fortnight. I can’t now drive. I have a Disabled Person’s Railcard. everyone else seems to class us as disabled apart from DWP?

Submitted by Michele Finch on

Hi Michele


I can understand that you feel frustrated with this situation. It’s good that you have a supportive GP and the disabled rail card and concessionary bus pass (https://www.epilepsy.org.uk/info/daily-life/benefits/free-bus-pass) are helpful when you aren’t able to drive.


We have been campaigning to make the PIP assessment process fairer for people with epilepsy. And a tribunal  ruling in March 2017 helped with this, but there is still some way to go. You might be interested to read about our PIP Pledge (https://www.epilepsy.org.uk/involved/campaigns/pip-pledge) which is part of our campaign to improve PIP for people with epilepsy.


We have some information about the PIP appeals process (https://www.epilepsy.org.uk/info/daily-life/benefits/personal-independence-payments-what-can-i-do-if-am-refused-pip) which may give you some guidance.


If you need any extra information about how to explain your epilepsy it may be helpful to look at our PIP assessment information here. (https://www.epilepsy.org.uk/info/daily-life/benefits/personal-independence-payments-pip). We aren’t benefits advisers but we recommend people get help with the process. There are links to finding an adviser on these information pages.


I hope this helps and we wish you all the best with your appeal.



Submitted by rich on

i have been diagnosed with n.e.a.d and people think im faking it am i covered under the disability discrimination laws

Submitted by p smith on

i have been diagnosed as epileptic and want to know if this qualifies me for a blue badge disabled parking badge.

Submitted by glynn kitchen on

Hi there

The Blue Badge disabled people’s parking scheme has certain eligibility rules. Some people have automatic entitlement. This includes people who are on the higher rate mobility component of DLA or who score 8 or more points on the PIP “moving around” assessment. But for most people with epilepsy they will not qualify for a blue badge unless they have a severe mobility problem.


We have more information about the Blue Badge scheme on our website. This tells you about all the qualifying criteria and how to apply if you think you may be eligible.



Epilepsy Action Helpline Team.

Submitted by rich on

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