Benefits and Work has been contacted by readers concerned that a claim this month by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) that Long Covid is not a disability would prevent future claims for PIP.  Fortunately this is not the case.

EHRC tweet on Long Covid

On 7 May, EHRC tweeted that:

“Discussions continue on whether ‘long covid’ symptoms constitute a disability.

“Without case law or scientific consensus, EHRC does not recommend that ‘long covid’ be treated as a disability.

“More advice on reasonable adjustments can be found - https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/advice-and-guidance/what-are-reasonable-adjustments

A number of our readers emailed us to say they were worried that because the EHRC says Long Covid is not a disability the DWP would be able to argue that it was no longer grounds for a PIP award.

PIP claims for Long Covid

But the criteria for being awarded PIP are not based on a claimant being disabled.  Instead, you need to show that you have  a long-term health condition and that this affects your ability to manage everyday daily living tasks and/or your mobility.

Long-term for PIP means that your condition has lasted for at least three months and is likely to last at least another nine months.

But the question of whether people with Long Covid should be automatically listed as disabled for the purposes of the Equality Act, which is what the EHRC was addressing, is a separate one to whether you are entitled to PIP for Long Covid.

But such was the dismay caused by the EHRC’s tweet that they were forced to issue another statement in which they admitted that people with Long-Covid could be considered disabled for the purposes of the Act and should be provided with reasonable adjustments in the same way as other disabled people.

Their statement, issued on 9 May, explained:

"There continues to be discussion of the various symptoms related to Covid-19 that are often referred to as ‘long Covid’ and whether they would constitute a disability under the Equality Act.

“Given that ‘long Covid’ is not among the conditions listed in the Equality Act as ones which are automatically a disability, such as cancer, HIV and multiple sclerosis, we cannot say that all cases of ‘long Covid’ will fall under the definition of disability in the Equality Act.

 “This does not affect whether ‘long Covid’ might amount to a disability for any particular individual – it will do so if it has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. This will be determined by the employment tribunal or court considering any claim of disability discrimination.

 “To support workers affected by ‘long Covid’ and avoid the risk of inadvertent discrimination, we would recommend that employers continue to follow existing guidance when considering reasonable adjustments for disabled people and access to flexible working, based on the circumstances of individual cases.”

This is not the first time recently that the EHRC has been considered to be acting in opposition to the interests of disabled claimants.

Just last month we revealed that the EHRC let the DWP off the hook by going back on its promise to investigate the department’s role in the deaths of vulnerable claimants.

Instead, the DWP have merely been asked to come up with some new policies and procedures.

It continues to be the case that people with Long Covid may well be entitled to PIP.

Some of the most common symptoms of Long Covid are

  • extreme tiredness (fatigue)
  • shortness of breath
  • problems with memory and concentration ("brain fog")
  • joint pain

These are issues that would be likely to lead to points being scored for PIP in relation to activities such as:

  • Preparing food
  • Managing therapy and monitoring a health condition
  • Washing and bathing
  • Dressing and undressing
  • Engaging with others face-to-face
  • Planning and following a journey
  • Moving around

Our PIP for Long Covid resources

You can read more about PIP for Long Covid and the fact that many thousands of people are likely to be missing out on an award.

We have also updated our short introductory video about claiming PIP for Long Covid to take account of the April changes to PIP rates.

Benefits and Work members can download a 7-page, Long Covid PIP supplement, to be used in conjunction with our Guide to PIP Claims and Reviews.

 

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  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Willow · 1 months ago
    I have had Long Covid for more than two years but have been put off applying for PIP because:
    - how can you prove Long Covid will continue for 9 months, as no-one knows if or when anyone will recover?
    - I had heard from friends with other disabilities how horrendous the process was (and who can face this when you're feeling awful?) 
    - an adviser was not sure whether I would score enough points

    So I guess most other people with LC have thought the same things and not applied. But your video has encouraged me to look through the guidance and maybe put in an application. Thank you. 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    MrFibro · 1 months ago
    So i can assume with confidence, that if you have long covid and your symptoms are :::

    (Some of the most common symptoms of Long Covid are

    extreme tiredness (fatigue)
    shortness of breath
    problems with memory and concentration ("brain fog")
    joint pain)

    Then that equates to having FIBROMYALGIA  and or Chronic fatigue  Syndrome  right ???

    Incidently fibromyalgia has more symptoms than the long covid symptoms.

    symptoms such as severe depression caused through having fibro, chronic fatigue, and severe chronic bodily pain.

    Because i suffer with those symptom's for many years now, and still have to jump through hoops to keep my benefits.

    If I'm right i could be mistaken, but fibromyalgia has now been classed as a recognisable disease/ illness/ condition, which is very debilitating to the patient.  And was passed in law i think over a year ago in parliament.  (if I'm wrong then please sign post me to the right government legislation which states its not been passed in law as a recognizable disease.)


    And still assessors and the dwp assume your pulling their puddings and try every trick in their books to kick you off your benefits.

    Problem is this no one gives a toss about disabled people, rather the government seems to  care more about the rest of the world than our own people.


    Threes internet new talking about sunak dishing out 600 quid to over 3million poor people in Britain, to help with living costs due to the rise in cost of living.  How this will be applied is not yet disclosed.

    It may not not even happen at all.  he may pay-out through WHD warm home discounts scheme, or maybe pay-out to your bank accounts.

    Just wondering if legacy claimants will get anything at all, as last time with the 20 quid a week uc upliftment due to pandemic, all esa legacy claimants got a kick in the b****ks, and a bigger one when that bent judge threw it out of court saying disabled people didn't need extra.


    What a state our country is in, they bang on about disability rights etc in the workplace bla bla bla, but believe me its all a load of Boll**s.  In the workplace nobody ever cared or thought about my disabilities.  


    Good luck to all.









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