Acquired Disability

What is ‘Acquired’ Disability?

The Disability Act 2005 defines ‘disability’, in relation to a person, as “a substantial restriction in the capacity of the person to carry on a profession, business or occupation in the State or to participate in social or cultural life in the State by reason of an enduring physical, sensory, mental health or intellectual impairment”.

‘Acquired’ disability is a disability that has developed during the person’s lifetime – that is, a disability that is the result of an accident or illness rather than a disability the person was born with.

It is estimated that about 85% of working-age people with a disability have acquired their disability over their lifetime (NDA, 2004). The two most frequent reasons for long-term absence from work are:

  • Musculoskeletal problems – Musculoskeletal Disorders or MSDs are injuries and disorders that affect the human body's movement or musculoskeletal system (such as muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, discs, blood vessels). Common MSDs include: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Tendonitis. Muscle / Tendon strain.
  • Mental health issues – such as social anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, drug addiction, and personality disorders. Treatment options include medication and psychotherapy...