The Korea Herald


Man with IQ of 65 acknowledged as having disability

By Yoon Min-sik

Published : June 5, 2024 - 16:40

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(Herald DB) (Herald DB)

A South Korean court on Wednesday ruled in favor of a man in his 40s who had challenged a recent decision by the government not to acknowledge him as having an intellectual disability.

In the recent administrative litigation, the Incheon District Court ruled that the man should be considered to have an IQ of 65, as he claims.

The plaintiff in 2021 applied to be registered as disabled with the Incheon Metropolitan Government, but the city declined his request, based on an examination by the National Pension Service. A person with an IQ of 70 or lower is generally regarded as having an intellectual disability by the state.

But while he had recently been diagnosed as having a low IQ, the NPS said it was not an accurate reflection of his actual intellectual abilities, but was the result of the man having recently suffered from mental illness. It cited the grades he had received when he was in school.

The plaintiff claimed that he had been intellectually challenged from his youth. He filed charges against the city of Incheon, which was switched to the city government of Bucheon midway through litigation when he changed residence.

"The experts of psychiatry who examined the plaintiff all gave their medical opinion that his IQ is under 70. ... But the medical experts who consulted for the NPS only relied on indirect evidence such as school report cards to reach their decision," the court said in its verdict. It pointed out that the plaintiff had been subject to bullying from classmates due to his limited cognitive abilities.

Bucheon city officials decided not to appeal the case, and plan to register the man as having a disability soon.