Background: Mental and physical disorders are associated with total disability, but their effects on days with partial disability (i.e. the ability to perform some, but not full-role, functioning in daily life) are not well understood. Aims: To estimate individual (i.e. the consequences for an individual with a disorder) and societal effects (i.e. the avoidable partial disability in the society due to disorders) of mental and physical disorders on days with partial disability around the world. Method: Respondents from 26 nationally representative samples (n = 61 259, age 18+) were interviewed regarding mental and physical disorders, and day-to-day functioning. The Composite International Diagnostic Interview, version 3.0 (CIDI 3.0) was used to assess mental disorders; partial disability (expressed in full day equivalents) was assessed with the World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule in the CIDI 3.0. Results: Respondents with disorders reported about 1.58 additional disability days per month compared with respondents without disorders. At the individual level, mental disorders (especially post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and bipolar disorder) yielded a higher number of days with disability than physical disorders. At the societal level, the population attributable risk proportion due to physical and mental disorders was 49% and 15% respectively. Conclusions: Mental and physical disorders have a considerable impact on partial disability, at both the individual and at the societal level. Physical disorders yielded higher effects on partial disability than mental disorders.