Do I need to / am I able to register as disabled?

Hi, I’ve had relapsing remitting MS for the last 20yrs. In that time I have suffered 6 relapses but have been fortunate enough to bounce back to full health. However, this doesnt appear to be the case with my most recent relapse and I’m suffering with pins and needles in my face and right hand and general weakness down my right side, particularly my right leg. My cognitive functions seem to be suffering too with short term memory problems and periods of time, which are just lost to me where I just seem to “drift”. My issue is that I have returned to work and am currently performing restricted duties as part of a return to work plan. I had a meeting with my HR Dept who informed me that if I go off sick again during the 8 week period the return to work plan runs for, they may instigate unacceptable attendance procedures (UAP) against me. I have researched this at work (sickness policy) and my HR manager has got it completely wrong as having MS defines me as being disabled and I am therefore protected to some degree. My employers would have to go down the route of medical pension as opposed to UAP. I have checked with work and I am classed as being a disabled person. What I would like to know is - is there a formal meachanism / need for me to register as being a disabled person, how do I do this, and if I do register does this afford me additional protection?

Any help would be much appreciated.


Hi there,

No, in most parts of the country, there is no such thing as a “Disabled Register” any more (controversial, when it did exist!), although being in receipt of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is widely accepted as equivalent “proof” for many practical purposes.

However, as far as employment goes, none of this is relevant. As you have rightly identified, an MS diagnosis alone confers protected status under the law. As long as you’ve got (or can readily obtain) confirmation of your diagnosis, you don’t need to be registered somewhere as well. Your diagnosis IS the proof.


Hi there, I hope you enjoy pointing out the error of your HR manager to him/her. These people need to make sure they have their facts right before they make sweeping statements that could upset the recipient! Hope you get this sorted to your satisfaction. Teresa xx

AAaaaawww!!! This sort of thing really winds me up! The HR team are the ones that need to be dismissed if anything.

You are automatically protected against this kind of treatment by being diagnosed with MS. I hope you take great pleasure in telling HR that they have got it wrong.

Good luck!


Hello RT 631

There is no general register for disabled people and there is not a lot of protection for you. There are people at the MS Society who can advise you on your rights at work

If you complete the ‘Disability Living Allowance’ forms then you will be entitled to certain priviledges (for example free prescriptions) which are not available to you as an able bodied peron. Also you will be paid some money by the state to help you off set the cost of being disabed. Go to this link

My suggestion would be to get the forms posted to you so phone up the office (Call free on 0800 055 66 88 (8.00am to 6.00pm Monday to Friday).), Read the forms through carefully and write out your answers on a separate sheet of paper. Next step is to find someone who you have known for a long time or who is familiar with the workings of the disabilities system. Go through the form and your answers with this person.

Both of you can now fill in the form. If you are like me you will tend to play down your disabilities, carefully forget the times when you really did need help. Before you post it off take a photocopy for your own records

This might sound like a hammer to crack a walnut but …

Good luck,