In the United States, the Americans with Disabilities Act is designed to protect those with disabilities from discrimination at work, school, or in the general public. The ADA is a federal act and spans across all 50 states; however, there are some differences on a state-by-state basis when it comes to rules and regulations.

For example, some qualifying conditions for getting a handicap parking placard are on the list in some states and off the list in others. If you have a condition like fibromyalgia, this can make getting your handicap parking placard a little confusing. So, what is fibromyalgia? And can you get a handicap parking placard for fibromyalgia in Missouri? Read below to find out.

What is fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that can be challenging to treat. This is because it is often mistaken for other conditions that pose the same symptoms, including pain in the muscles and bones, tenderness across the body, general fatigue, and sleep and cognitive issues. Some people with fibromyalgia may also experience headaches, depression, anxiety, issues with concentration or focus, a dull ache in the lower belly, and bladder problems.

The pain of fibromyalgia is a dull ache and often overlaps with areas of the body that feel particular tenderness, which are referred to as trigger points. Since the condition affects nerves across the entire body, people with fibromyalgia often experience more excruciating pain because of the way the brain and nerves misinterpret pain signals.

people with mobility issues
Image by Max Bender on Unsplash: If fibromyalgia hinders your ability to walk because of leg pain, you will qualify for a handicap parking permit.

Can you lose the ability to walk with fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia pain can be felt in many areas of the body, including the head, shoulders, chest, hips, legs, and arms. Leg pain associated with fibromyalgia is experienced in the muscles and soft tissue, and can feel similar to pulling a muscle or arthritis pain. People with fibromyalgia in their legs experience deep pain that can also present as burning or throbbing.

Another common symptom is numbness and tingling or the feeling of bugs crawling on the skin. In some instances, the fatigue element of fibromyalgia can creep into the legs, causing the limbs to feel heavy and held down to the ground. All these symptoms together can contribute to a patient with fibromyalgia losing the ability to walk.

Is fibromyalgia a permanent disability?

The Americans with Disabilities Act has a qualifying condition list when it comes to permanent disability. Fibromyalgia is or is not deemed a permanent disability depending on the level of severity of the condition.

Can you get handicap parking for fibromyalgia?

To get a handicap parking placard for fibromyalgia, the condition will have to affect you in a certain way. If it limits your ability to walk or causes other mobility issues, you will qualify for a handicap parking permit.

There are two types of parking permits in Missouri: a permanent parking permit and a temporary parking permit. Since fibromyalgia is a permanent and chronic condition, it will qualify for a permanent parking permit in Missouri if it meets the abovementioned mobility requirements.

massage for leg pain caused by fibromyalgia
Image by Conscious Design on Unsplash: Does Missouri grant handicap parking to those with fibromyalgia? Yes, if they meet the appropriate qualifying conditions.

How do I get a handicap parking permit in Missouri?

To get a handicap parking permit in Missouri, you must first go through a licensed physician to receive a Physicians’ Statement For Disabled License Plates or Placard. This form will allow you to apply for a permanent disabled placard. After the form is submitted along with an application, you will be notified of whether or not you qualify. In Missouri, there is no fee to get a permanent disabled placard. The placard will have to be renewed with a new physician statement form every eight years.

Getting a handicap parking placard often depends on the way your particular condition affects you. In Missouri, fibromyalgia does qualify, but only if the symptoms meet the standard requirements of what a disability is.

Featured image by Mitchell Hollander on Unsplash