You are considered disabled if you have a condition which limits one or more major life activities. This means that you have a condition or a disability if it is difficult to engage in a major life activity such as breathing, seeing, walking, caring for yourself, working, social activities, reading, eating, digesting, hearing, speaking or any other activity which is essential to daily living.
Disabilities can be physical or mental, such as developmental disorders, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness or specific learning disabilities, which limit a major life activity. This could be the result of disabilities that are apparent, such as being in a wheelchair, using a cane, being disfigured or having an amputation. Or, they could be subtler, such as a heart problem, breathing difficulties, depression, anxiety and any other disorders that affect any daily life activity. To be considered a disabling condition, a disability or limitation must be, or be perceived, as long-standing or permanent (an exception to this are pregnancy-related disabilities, which are covered under a separate law).
If you suffer from a temporary disability, you may be entitled to leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA); therefore, if your claim does not meet the criteria for disability discrimination, you may still have protection under the FMLA.