A temporary impairment does not constitute a disability for purposes of Section 504 unless its severity is such that it results in a substantial limitation of one or more major life activities for an extended period of time. The issue of whether a temporary impairment is substantial enough to be a disability must be resolved on a case-by-case basis, considering both the impairment's duration (or expected duration) and the extent to which it limits a major life activity of the affected individual. In the Amendments Act, Congress clarified that an individual is not “regarded as” an individual with a disability if the impairment is both transitory and minor.  A transitory impairment is an impairment with an actual or expected duration of 6 months or less.

FAQs About Section 504 and the Education of Children with Disabilities

Temporary disability examples:

  • Extended duration & substantial severity resulting from:
    • Prolonged but not permanent medical conditions
    • Conditions secondary to pregnancy
    • Surgical complications
    • Atypical concussions or persistent post-concussive symptoms
    • Other conditions


We offer the form attached below for students to take to their provider to be filled out and returned to us.

If you are not using our form, your documentation must still come from the treating physician (written on the physician’s stationary) and include a specific diagnosis, the expected duration, and the limitations imposed by the condition described.

Information pertaining to the student's condition will be reviewed by a specialist, and students will be contacted regarding DSP status. Please note that in some circumstances, follow-up documentation will be required before we can evaluate a student's need for services from our office.

Download Temp Documentation Form pdf icon

Injuries and Illnesses

Some conditions may not qualify for temporary disability status, including testing COVID-positive, illnesses (MONO, flu, etc.), and some injuries (sprains, simple concussions, etc.) because they may not meet the criteria for duration and severity. In these cases, and while the DSP application and documentation is being reviewed, DSP suggests:

Send the following email to each of your faculty:

Dear Prof X,

I am a student registered in your x course and am experiencing impacts from an illness, injury, etc. I have attached a note from my doctor that confirms my short-term impacts. I would appreciate it if you could provide me with notes, extra time on exams, etc. while I recover from my injury. If my condition qualifies as a disability, I will also follow up with a request for formal accommodations through DSP.


Student name (perm#)

If your faculty does not respond to your request, please email the Student-Parent Liaison for assistance: sa-studentparentliaison@ucsb.edu or call 805.893.4521