No, Being Left-Handed is not a Disability…
Author: Attorney Lonnie Roach
Recently, Mouthwire released an article claiming left-handed people are eligible for disability. The article was widely circulated around Facebook, leading many to question its validity.
The Mouthwire article claiming left-handed people are eligible for disability is completely false. Disability is a program designed to help those who are unable to work. Being left-handed does not prevent someone from working.
People who are left-handed do face some difficulties in a world designed for right-handers.
The majority of people are right-handed, so it makes sense for things to be designed that way. This can lead to things being inconvenient or even dangerous for left-handed people. At school and work, scissors, desks, and pens are more difficult for left-handed people to use. Some older left-handed people recall being forced to write with their right hands in school, as if they could unlearn their natural handed-ness. It is common to hear left-handed people complain about having to wipe ink off their hand every time they write left-to-right. At home, appliances and kitchen tools are often designed for right-handers. Even at most grocery stores the produce section is immediately to your right when you walk in.
More seriously, being left-handed can also be dangerous.
On industrial tools (saws, trash compactors, forklifts…), the emergency switch is where it will be the most accessible to the most people- on the right. Think about driving a car- roads are designed for traffic to travel on the right. If you use your dominant hand to swerve and avoid an obstacle, a right handed person will pull away from traffic where as a left handed person will pull into traffic. One study suggests left-handers die in accidents at much higher rates.
Clearly, being left-handed is not without its disadvantages.
However, left-handedness does not rise to the level of being a disability. The Social Security Administration has a list of all conditions which qualify as disabilities. This listing is commonly known as the “Blue Book”. A cursory overview of these conditions shows that they are all serious- cancer, heart disease, amputation, and kidney disease are just a few examples pulled at random. These are serious diseases, and it is obvious how they prevent people from working. Social Security Disability Insurance isn’t for people who have something minor that inconveniences them. The purpose of Social Security is to provide a safety net for those who become disabled and are unable to work. Left-handed people may have to adapt a little bit, but they are certainly not prevented from working because of their condition.
The article’s premise of being able to collect disability for left-handedness is patently false, but let’s take a closer look.
Neither the legislation (Justice for Dexterously Challenged Act), the organization in support of legislation (Left-Handed Nondiscrimination Association), or the disability (Extreme Left-Handed Disorder) exist anywhere outside the authors imagination. In fact, the only bit of truth to be learned from this article is that President Obama is, in fact, left-handed.
If you have a serious disability that prevents you from working, you may be eligible to collect Social Security Disability Insurance. If you have applied for Social Security benefits and been denied, contact the attorneys at Bemis, Roach and Reed. The attorneys at Bemis, Roach and Reed have years of knowledge and experience handling disability claims. Having a professional represent you can make the difference between your claim being approved or denied
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Author: Attorney Lonnie Roach has been practicing law for over 29 years. He is Superlawyers rated by Thomson Reuters and is Top AV Preeminent® and Client Champion rated by Martindale Hubbell. Through his extensive litigation Mr. Roach obtained board certifications from the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Lonnie is admitted to practice in the United States District Court - all Texas Districts and the U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit. Highly experienced in Long Term Disability denials and appeals governed by the “ERISA” Mr. Roach is a member of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association, Austin Bar Association, and is a past the director of the Capital Area Trial Lawyers Association (Director 1999-2005) Mr. Roach and all the members of Bemis, Roach & Reed have been active participants in the Travis County Lawyer referral service.
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