Recognition of Fibromyalgia as a Disability — [Mr Adrian Bailey in the Chair]

Part of Backbench Business – in Westminster Hall at 9:30 am on 15th January 2019.

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Photo of Toby Perkins Toby Perkins Labour, Chesterfield 9:30 am, 15th January 2019

That point is spot on, and made from the powerful perspective of someone who knows what it is like to live with someone experiencing fibromyalgia. I will come on in a moment to some of the other things that are believed to be triggers for fibromyalgia, but the hon. Gentleman is absolutely right. We all know—it is one of our worries about the assessment regime within benefits—the stress of that process: the stress of going through the assessment, of believing that benefits will be taken away or of wondering how they will feel the next day. It is an incredibly unhelpful situation where people’s income is tied to their being ill, so they wake up almost hoping to be ill to justify the income, while simultaneously wishing they were better because they want to be able to contribute. That is something that is known much more widely in our benefits system, but fibromyalgia sufferers are very familiar with it.