Is losing a finger considered a disability?

On Behalf of | Mar 3, 2021 | ERISA Disability

Major amputations are clearly severe enough to lead to a disability. Someone who loses a leg in a workplace accident, for instance, will see their life change forever. There are prosthetic limbs, of course, but nothing fully replaces a lost limb. 

But what about the amputation of something smaller, such as losing a finger? Is that enough to qualify as a disability? 

Which finger did you lose?

Losing a finger certainly can qualify as a disability, as you clearly would not have all of the same physical skills as someone with all of their digits. No matter which finger is lost, you may be able to qualify for compensation and assistance. 

Which finger you lose may play a role in whether your condition qualifies as a disability, though. The thumb is thought by many to be the most important digit on the hand, since having an opposable digit — thus making possible the use of tools — is what gives humans an edge over the rest of the animal kingdom. 

If you thought the pointer finger was the most important, it’s actually one of the least. Medical experts say that the finger you can compensate for most naturally is the first finger on your non-dominant hand. Your other fingers can make up for a lot of the skills and abilities you lose. Your pinky finger, despite being the smallest, also does a lot of your gripping for you and is one of the most important digits.

What are your options after the loss of a finger?

If you have lost a finger and it could not be reattached, life is going to be different moving forward. Make sure that you know about all of the options you have when dealing with such a disability. If you’re struggling to win approval of a disability claim, it may be wise to speak with an attorney.