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What Is Partial Disability?

Many types of handicaps or disabilities exist, ranging from a person who is completely unable to function on his or her own to someone who has limited mobility. Thus, a classification for disabilities was created in order to determine the degree of disability that a person suffers. Partial disability refers to a legal classification of people who are entitled to some benefits from a government agency or a private agency.


Disability is legally defined as something that prevents a person from being able to perform basic activities such as walking, talking, or any other fundamental function. The point of distinction between an able and disabled person is the ability to care for one’s self and perform basic, human activities. Partial and total disabilities are different in that they refer to a class of activities that cannot be done or something that impairs a person from doing such activities.


A totally disabled person cannot perform fundamental actions such as talking, eating, or bathing by himself or herself. This legal classification provides people an opportunity to gain benefits since they are usually unable to work or perform a job that can provide them some form of income. In contrast, a partial disability means that a person is suffering from some form of impairment, but does not completely render him as unable to take care of himself or do the essential activities. However, since the person is only impaired in some way and not completely, he or she receives fewer benefits from a totally impaired or disabled person.

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