by Kate Russell

Effects of treatment and medication

Where the disabled person is having treatment or correction, you must consider what effect the impairment would have on the employee if he was not being treated (you’ll probably need medical advice to determine this). The treatment or correction measures which are to be disregarded encompass medical treatment, including counselling and the use of a prosthesis or other aid.

This rule applies even if the measures result in the effects being completely under control or not at all apparent. Where treatment is continuing, it may be having the effect of masking a disability so that the latter does not have a substantial adverse effect. If the final outcome of such treatment cannot be determined or if it is known that removal of the medical treatment would result in either a relapse or a worsened condition, you should disregard the medical treatment.

For example, in the case of someone with diabetes which is being controlled by medication or diet, or the case of a person with depression which is being treated by counselling, whether or not the effect is substantial should be decided by reference to what the effects of the condition would be if he were not taking that medication or following the required diet, or were not receiving counselling (the so-called ‘deduced effects’).

The exception to this is visual impairments that are capable of being corrected by spectacles or contact lenses.

You must also take account of the effect of the continuing medical treatment where it creates a permanent, rather than a temporary, improvement.