Does My Disability Fall Under the ADA? A Comprehensive Look.

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If you’re wondering if your disability qualifies under the Americans with Disability Act (ADA), knowing the basics is a good start. First, be able to define your condition under the ADA. Then, understand what your rights are. Finally, know how you’re protected to help you get the benefits that you deserve for ADA disabilities.

Let’s Begin.

Definition of ADA Disabilities

The ADA definition of disability is written in legal terms, rather than being considered from a medical perspective. However, since the basis of ADA’s definition of disability is legal, it’s different than Social Security Disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) definitions.

ADA definition of disabilities:

  • First, a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits major life activities or bodily functions.
  • Second, a record of impairment, even if it isn’t classified as a medical disability.
  • Third, someone who doesn’t have a medical disability, but is regarded as having a disability.

The ADA makes it unlawful to discriminate against someone based on his or her association with a person with a disability. For example, the ADA also outlaws discrimination against those with a disability in government services, public accommodations, private employers, labor organizations, and labor-management committees.

What Qualifies as an ADA Disability?

However, the American with Disabilities Act does not provide a definitive list of medical conditions that are automatically considered ADA disabilities. On the other hand, some of the most common physical and mental impairments covered under the ADA include:

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  • AIDS, HIV and its symptoms.
  • Asthma.
  • Blindness or other visual impairments.
  • Cancer.
  • Cerebral palsy.
  • Diabetes.
  • Epilepsy.
  • Heart Disease.
  • Migraine Headaches.
  • Muscular dystrophy.
  • Paralysis.
  • Complications from Pregnancy.
  • Thyroid gland disorders.
  • Loss of body parts.

The law does not consider mitigating measures when determining whether a particular impairment is an ADA disability. For instance, medication, therapy, or other steps that an individual takes to help manage and control symptoms are not part of the qualification process under the ADA.

Not Covered Under the Americans With Disabilities Act?

Under the ADA, impairments must be considered physiological or mental disorders. For example impairments that aren’t covered under this definition of ADA disability include:

  • Broken bones that heal completely.
  • All forms of cancer.
  • Common cold or the flu.
  • Compulsive gambling.
  • Homosexuality or bisexuality.
  • Lack of education.
  • Old age.
  • Pregnancy.
  • Sprained joints.

On the other hand, Depression and stress count as impairments. However, it depends on if it resulted from a documented mental or physiological disorder. If they are the consequence of personal life or job pressures, or if they limit at least one major life activity they may not. Although marijuana or other drug use may disqualify you. For example, if illegal drugs are used to cope with a disability, or if there is a history of illegal drug use, individuals will no be protected by the ADA.

Mental Disabilities Covered Under ADA

Mental illnesses are typically used in a medical context to refer to conditions related to mental and emotional health. However, mental ADA disabilities are typically used in a legal or policy context to refer to impairments covered under the ADA. For instance, when individuals have a mental health condition that meets the general definition of a disability under the ADA, they may qualify for coverage under the ADA.

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For instance, some of the most common mental ADA disabilities covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act include:

  • Bipolar disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Major depression
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Personality disorders

Furthermore, mental disorders that affect the ability to think, learn, concentrate, sleep, communicate, or impact major life activities are recognized under the ADA. However, these impairments are frequently defined by disordered or impaired brain function.

Although applicants with mental or psychiatric ADA disabilities have certain rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act. For example these rights include that individuals have a right to privacy. Then, they may choose whether to share their disability with their employer. Finally they have the right to a job accommodation.

Is Anxiety Covered Under ADA Disabilities?

The definition of mental impairment under the ADA includes any emotional or mental illnesses, such as anxiety disorders. For example, the following anxiety disorders:

  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Panic disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Social phobia or social anxiety disorder

However, if you have general anxiety while working, or have an anxious personality, it does not automatically qualify you for coverage under the ADA. However, to rise to the level of a disability, your anxiety must substantially limit one or more of your major life activities, such as learning, thinking, speaking, or general interaction with others.

How to Apply for ADA Protection

Although if you have a disability and are qualified to do a job, the ADA protects you from job discrimination on the basis of your disability. For instance, the ADA will also take measures to protect you if you have a history of a disability, or if an employer believes that you have such an ADA disability, even if you don’t.

However, a substantial record of impairment is part of the qualification process. For instance, a substantial impairment is one that significantly limits or restricts a major life activity such as hearing, walking, breathing, learning, working or performing manual tasks.

Furthermore, the Americans with Disabilities Act protects the rights of people with disabilities. For example, it guarantees equal opportunity in:

  • Jobs
  • Public accommodations
  • Transportation
  • Government services
  • Telecommunications

The Department of Justice ADA information line answers questions about Americans with Disabilities Act requirements and is available to businesses, state and local governments, and the public. However, you can call 1- 800-514-0301 (TTY: 1-800-514-0383) to talk to a representative to see if you qualify for ADA protection.

Contact an Attorney for ADA Disabilities Help

However, if you’re struggling to find out information related to your disability, contact an attorney today. Otherwise since the ADA is part of the Department of Justice, attorneys who represent disability claimants can help navigate the legal and technical aspects of their cases.

At Dyer, Garofalo, Mann & Schultz L.P.A., our attorneys specialize in disability cases in Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky. We understand how frustrating it can be to deal with the court system when all you need is help with your disability. For instance we’ll get you the information you need. First by helping you file your case correctly. Then by making sure that you get the benefits that you deserve. Finally, by being the attorneys you can trust.


Quick Answers

Who Has an ADA Disability?

– First, a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits major life activities or bodily functions.
– Second, a record of impairment, even if it isn’t classified as a medical disability.
– Finally, an individual who does not have a medical disability, but is regarded as having a disability.

What Disabilities are Covered by the ADA?

AIDS, HIV and its symptoms
Asthma
Blindness or other visual impairments
Cancer
Cerebral palsy
Diabetes
Epilepsy
Heart Disease
Migraine Headaches
Muscular dystrophy
Paralysis
Complications from Pregnancy
Thyroid gland disorders
Loss of body parts

What Anxiety Related Conditions are Covered?

Generalized anxiety disorder
Obsessive-compulsive disorder
Panic disorder
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Social phobia or social anxiety disorder


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