No, Left-handedness isn’t a disability. You can’t file for disability and expect to get anything from merely being left-handed. Left-handers are awkward, yes, but disabled, no. Furthermore, Left-handedness doesn’t keep people from working, which is the main criterion for receiving any disability compensation. In this article, we’ll look at why some may consider left-handedness as a disability and perhaps some issues that some left-handers may be prone to that can and may fall under a disability.
Should Left-handedness be Considered a Disability?
Left-handedness itself isn’t a disability. For one thing, a dominant left-hand person is still able to work. Some jobs may be awkward for a lefty, but most lefties can overcome any obstacles that may make their job harder than it is for their right-handed peers.
A satire site called Mouthwire recently released an article that claimed left-handed people could file and get disability. What Mouthwire wrote couldn’t be more untrue. The report was false. Left-handedness might make you slightly awkward, but it doesn’t make you disabled.
Disability programs are for those who cannot work. Left-handedness doesn’t keep you from working.
Left-handers Face Difficulties in a Right-handed World
Most people are right-handed, so it makes sense that things we use have a right-handed design. However, these things can be inconvenient and, in some cases, dangerous for left-handers. Some older people may remember a time where teachers, parents, even church leaders forced lefties to write right-handed as, until recently, left-handedness had the connotation of evil. In another article, I pointed out that not only does the person forced to switch handedness physically change, but their brain also changes as their thought process is different for using each hand.
Being Left-handed Can be Dangerous, but Not a Disability
Industrial tools such as saws, trash compactors, forklifts, etc., have the emergency switch on the right, making it awkward and in the wrong place for a lefty. That can lead to a delay in hitting the emergency switch and end in an injury rather than avoiding one. They claim that since car designs are for right-handers, right-handed people will swerve away from traffic to the right, but lefties will swerve left and into traffic. There is conflicting information on left-handed drivers anyway. Some articles claim they are better drivers, some worse, and others say that lefties die in auto accidents more than righties.
Left-handers Prone to Afflictions Considered Possible Disabilities
Left-handed people are prone to certain illnesses or severe enough diseases that may cause disability in lefties. However, that still isn’t the same as left-handedness being a disability itself. Left-handers appear to be more prone to learning disabilities, stuttering, migraine headaches, and autoimmune diseases, such as ulcerative colitis, myasthenia gravis, and celiac disease. They are also more apt to have dyslexia, schizophrenia, and ADHD.
Now, let’s look at these illnesses and see which ones may qualify as a disability.
Dyscalculia affects a person’s ability to understand numbers and learn math facts.
Dysgraphia affects a person’s handwriting ability and fine motor skills.
Dyslexia can affect reading and related language-based processing skills.
Non-Verbal Learning Disabilities
People with this type of learning disability have trouble interpreting nonverbal cues like facial expressions or body language and may have poor coordination.
Oral / Written Language Disorder and Specific Reading Comprehension Deficit
These learning disabilities affect an individual’s understanding of what they read or of spoken language. The ability to express oneself with oral language may be impacted.
Can you get disability compensation for learning disorders?
Many Americans have been diagnosed with learning disabilities. The severity of the condition and its impact on an individual’s life is what makes a learning disability qualify an individual for SSDI or SSI.
Stuttering is a speech disorder. It’s characterized by repetition of sounds, syllables, or words. Prolongation of sounds and interruptions in speech known as blocks. Stuttering can make it challenging to communicate with other people, which often affects a person’s quality of life and interpersonal relationships.
Several speech disorders, including stuttering, qualify for disability benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance Program. However, they don’t treat all speech disorders alike when processing or approving your claim.
Migraines are headaches of varying intensity, sometimes accompanied by nausea and sensitivity to light and sound. Warning symptoms sometimes precede migraine headaches. Hormonal changes, some foods and drinks, stress, and exercise can trigger a migraine headache.
Migraines can cause throbbing pain in a specific area that varies in severity. Nausea and sensitivity to light and sound are also common symptoms. Preventive and pain-relieving medications can help manage migraine headaches.
Migraines are a common condition among former military members. Migraines often occur secondary to other injuries and illnesses. If you’re a veteran experiencing migraines, you may be eligible for disability benefits through the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.
There is a long list of autoimmune diseases, but there are only a few I’ve found that are associated with left-handedness so far.
Ulcerative colitis, a chronic condition, causes inflammation in the digestive tract.
Myasthenia gravis is a weakness and rapid fatigue of muscles under voluntary control.
MG happens when there is a breakdown in communication between nerves and muscles.
Symptoms include weakness in the arm and leg muscles, double vision, and difficulties with speech and chewing. Medications, therapy, and surgery can help.
Celiac disease is an immune response to eating gluten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. Over time, the immune response creates inflammation that damages the small intestine’s lining. This leads to medical problems, and it can prevent the absorption of some nutrients. This is called malabsorption. Diarrhea is the most common symptom. Other symptoms include bloating, gas, fatigue, anemia, and osteoporosis. Many people never have symptoms. Treatment is usually a gluten-free diet that can help manage symptoms and promote intestinal healing.
The Social Security Administration considers autoimmune diseases disabling conditions. They may qualify you for either SSD or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits depending on the condition and your age. The SSA evaluation is dependent on the specific autoimmune disease because there are more than eighty types of these diseases.
Schizophrenia affects a person’s ability to think, feel, and behave clearly.
The exact cause of schizophrenia isn’t known. They do know that a combination of genetics, environment, altered brain chemistry, and structure can play a role. People with schizophrenia have thoughts or experiences that seem out of touch with reality. This includes disorganized speech or behavior as well as decreased participation in daily activities. Difficulty concentrating and trouble remembering may also be present. Treatment is lifelong and involves a combination of medications, psychotherapy, and coordinated specialty care services.
Eligibility for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for schizophrenia, you will need to show that your diagnosis with this disorder and that you have been (or will be) unable to work for 12 months or more.
ADHD is a chronic condition that includes attention difficulty, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness.
ADHD can begin in childhood and may persist into adulthood. It can contribute to low self-esteem, troubled relationships, and difficulty at school or work. Symptoms include limited attention and hyperactivity. Treatments include medication and talk therapy.
Suppose your child was diagnosed with ADHD or ADD. In that case, they can qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits if the severity of the child’s ADHD meets the Social Security Administration’s childhood impairment listing for neurodevelopmental disorders (listing 112.11).
In the end, we’ve found left-handedness itself isn’t a disability. However, illnesses and diseases linked to left-handedness do qualify as disabilities, and people can benefit from these if they meet the criteria. This information is based on the Social Security Administration in the US. Other countries may have different standards. What do you think of this article? Do you, as a left-hander, feel disabled? We’d love to hear from you. Please, leave your comments below.