Purpose: To examine the utility, reliability and validity of a new scale, The Loss Inventory (LI) for measuring symptoms unique to grief following disablement. Methods: Prospective survey study in which two self-report measures, the LI and Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale, were administered to 103 hospitalized rehabilitation patients. Correlational analyses, t tests, t score conversions of raw data, and analysis of variance used to determine reliability (internal consistency) of the LI and compare means of scores across several variables. Results: Cronbach's Alpha = 0.90 for the LI. The Zung and the LI correlated 0.59 but study subjects were significantly (p < 0.001) more likely to score higher on the LI than on the Zung. Certain LI items were significantly more frequently endorsed by depressed patients. Significant gender and ethnic differences were found. Conclusions: Rehabilitation patients sampled in this study were no more likely to be depressed than most people. Grief symptoms reported following functional losses are similar to those reported by persons who have experienced the death of someone close. The Loss Inventory reliably measures these grief symptoms. Gender and ethnicity affect the manner in which grief symptoms are reported. The LI may improve mental health clinicians' diagnostic accuracy in rehabilitation and medical settings. © 2004 Taylor & Francis Ltd.