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ME Disability Allowance in the US and Europe?

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS News' started by mrpanoff, Mar 16, 2012.

  1. mrpanoff


    I've heard ME sufferers are considered disabled in developed countries and are granted an allowance.

    How true is this? Does your country also cover your medical expenses?

    Being an ME patient in Russia, I'll probably be trying to contact the health authorities on the subject. We have a "List of rare diseases" and I should probably try to make them add G93.3 into it. However, I'm pretty sure it won't be worth the effort in this concentration camp of a country.
  2. Marco

    Marco Grrrrrrr!

    Near Cognac, France
    Hi there.

    I can't speak for other countries but in the UK, whether or not you receive illness related benefits depends on convincing the authorities of the degree of your incapacity - not on the basis of the diagnostic label. So one person may be diagnosed with ME and be successful in being granted benefits while another will not.

    It is becoming much more difficult for anyone to access state sickness benefits regardless of their condition but particularly so for conditions like ME with no objective disease markers.

    As for medical expenses, they are free at the point of delivery within the National Health Service (paid for through general taxation) but the only interventions that will be offered are those tests and treatments that are government approved. Any treatments offered will be for symptomatic relief (painkillers, sleeping tablets etc) or the combined graded exercise and psychological therapy approach.

    Hope this helps and good luck.
  3. In the US, the allowance part is similar to the UK. You have to prove that you're disabled enough to not be able to work full time. It doesn't really matter what your diagnosis is, but if you have several diagnoses, both physical and mental, that helps. The best test for disability is the functional capacity evaluation which will show how fatigue and pain limit your ability to work.

    As far as health care, the US doesn't have free health care like the UK. After 24 months on the disability allowance, you can get Medicare health insurance. You have to pay something like $50 a month for it (I don't know the exact figure because it's deducted automatically from my pay). Medicare covers 80% of your doctor visits and tests. You can buy additional insurance to cover the remaining 20% or to cover prescription medicine costs.

    Medicare, like in UK, only covers mainstream medical expenses. If you want to do alternative medicine, you have to pay for this yourself.
  4. *GG*

    *GG* senior member

    Concord, NH
    Wow, I didn't know the UK had free health care, perhaps we all should move there? I like not paying taxes and free stuff!

  5. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

    Sth Australia
    The Australian system works like the UK and is free but things all depend on what a doctor believes about ME.

    Many of us get disability for ME in Australia which can be hard to get but from my observation, things like getting also home help free may be harder to get here then in the UK.

    Australia fortunately doesnt have the tiered disability payment system that the UK has, all people who are disabled in Australia whether its for mental or physical health are treated equally and get the same disability payment amount.

    In Australia unfortunately due to the "theraputic goods act" TGA.. some supplements used in ME which are easily gotten in America.. may be banned here or one needs a doctors prescription for

    eg Melatonin may be quite hard to get.. one has to find a doctor who is willing to do a prescription (and its not one of the free medications and is far more expensive then other places of the world so most of us also bring in from England or America. To get it in throu customs, we often still need doctors prescription).
  6. mrpanoff


    Thanks for your opinions guys.

    My doctor says I should qualify if the procedure's done in an unbiased way. Although the whole system is obnoxiously corrupt.
    The actual allowance is less than $200 a month, but there should probably be some drug discounts etc.

    Theoretically, the government is also obliged to compensate for all the medical services done abroad if those can't be done in Russia.

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