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What are “episodic disabilities”?

Episodic disabilities are long-term conditions that are characterized by periods of good health interrupted by periods of illness or disability. These periods may vary in severity, length and predictability from one person to another. Some common examples of episodic disabilities include multiple sclerosis, arthritis, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, chronic fatigue syndrome, migraines, chronic pain, some forms of cancer and mental illness.

Unlike permanent disabilities, episodic disabilities are periodic — the episodes of illness come and go — but because they are also unpredictable, they can often be more difficult to manage with regard to employment. For example, a person with multiple sclerosis may not be able to work more than two days in a row, due to fatigue. A person living with HIV may have to wait for the side effects from medications to wear off before being able to work, making regular office hours challenging.

Sponsored By:
Mac AIDs Fund Logo
This project is funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Social Development Partnerships Program – Disability component.

Realize (formerly CWGHR) also acknowledges the financial support of the Public Health Agency of Canada.
The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the views of the Public Health Agency of Canada