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An article on Gizmodo recently claimed that being single is now a disability.

The headline, while partially true, is potentially misleading. No, unfortunately, your dating status won’t make you eligible for benefits.

WHO and disability defined

Infertility may be considered a disability under one definition, but it may not be considered a disability under another. The Social Security Administration defines disability as an inability to work. It would be very difficult to prove that infertility somehow limited a person’s ability to do their job.

What has happened is that the World Health Organization (WHO) is considering expanding its’ definition of infertility (which it has classified as a disability) to include anyone who wants to conceive a child but cannot.

The purpose of the new definition, according to Dr. David Adamson, is to promote “the rights of all individuals to have a family, and that includes single men, single women, gay men, gay women.” The new definition has not yet been made official. The WHO’s website states:

“WHO is currently collaborating with its partners to update the Glossary and consideration is being given to revising the definition of infertility. Should there be a change in the definition of infertility, it will remain a clinical description of infertility as a disease of the reproductive system and will not make recommendations about the provision of fertility care services.”


The World Health Organization has always called infertility a “disability” to establish that it is a disease in order to reduce the stigma surrounding it. In many cultures, infertility is seen as a divine curse.

Even though infertility is about equally common in males and females, it is childless women who are shunned for an inability to conceive. In some parts of the world, women who are infertile (or have infertile husbands) are ostracized and viewed as a burden on the community. The World Health Organization wants to change people’s perspective of infertility from a curse to a disease to promote empathy and empower women.


If you have been denied disability contact an experienced long term disability lawyer at 512-454-4000


infertility and disability

Proponents of the idea believe the proposed change in definition will help expand access to In Vitro Fertilization treatment for same-sex couples and single people. They believe an individual has a right to reproduce with or without a partner.

However, the idea of including people whose inability to have children is not related to a disease under the definition of infertility is new.

Proponents of the idea believe the proposed change in definition will help expand access to In Vitro Fertilization treatment for same-sex couples and single people. They believe an individual has a right to reproduce with or without a partner. Critics claim the proposed definition is an example of the World Health Organization pushing a controversial political agenda. If the new definition is accepted, it is likely that the National Health Service of the UK would adapt their rules to provide In Vitro fertilization. In Vitro fertilization is a relatively new, expensive and controversial technology, the new definition could lead to an increase in taxpayer-subsidized procedures.


Contact the long term disability lawyers at 512-454-4000 for a free consultation and see if you can qualify for disability benefits. If you have been denied disability don’t give up!


WHO has maintained a wide definition of disability as “an umbrella term, covering impairments, activity limitations, and participation restrictions.”

It is important to recognize there are different definitions of disability for different purposes. For example, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines disability as “a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.” In Bragdon v. Abbott, 524 U.S. 624 (1998), the Supreme Court defined infertility as a disability under the ADA. However, the Social Security Administration defines disability as an inability to work. It would be very difficult to prove that infertility somehow limited a person’s ability to do their job. Infertility may be considered a disability under one definition, but it may not be considered a disability under another.


Long Term Disability Lawyers

So while being single can be difficult, it won’t make you eligible for disability benefits. However, you may be eligible for benefits if you have an injury or illness that prevents you from working. If you have applied for Social Security Disability Insurance or Long-Term Disability Insurance and been denied, having a long term disability lawyer help appeal your case can help your chances of being approved. The Law Offices of Bemis, Roach and Reed have experience helping clients win their disability cases. Contact us today for a free consultation. Call 512-454-4000 and get help NOW.

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