Is ME/CFS a disability?

Under the Commonwealth Disability Discrimination Act 1992, the term disability is defined very broadly.  This means that people you might not regard as having a disability, and people who may not even think of themselves as having a disability, are included.  

The term disability refers to:

  • Physical disability
  • Intellectual disability
  • Psychiatric disability
  • Sensory disability
  • Neurological disability
  • Learning disability
  • Physical disfigurement
  • The presence in the body of disease-causing organisms.

The purpose of this broad definition is to ensure that the law applies to every person with a disability.   The Royal Commission will consider all disabilities including those within the above definition.  ME/CFS falls across a number of the terms above, so it is considered a disability for the purposes of the Royal Commission’s inquiries.

Information is accurate as at 21 May 2021

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