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New Rules About How Speaking English Factors into Social Security Disability

If you currently are on Social Security Disability this new

rule change can greatly impact you especially if one of the findings in your case is that you are not able to work because you are not able to speak English. You may have your case reviewed as part of the Agency's Continuing Disability Review program (CDR).

The Social Security Administration has made what they refer to as an attempt to modernize the rules and standards they use to evaluate how the Agency determines disability benefits. We The Social Security Administration is moving forward with a rule change that has been in the works for a number of years and serves to update a more than 40-year-old policy that made the inability to communicate in English a factor in awarding disability benefits. The new rule is effective April 27, 2020.

Social Security is required to consider education to determine if your medical condition prevents work. In 2015, our Inspector General recommended that we evaluate the appropriateness of this policy. Social Security states that research now shows the inability to communicate in English is no longer a good measure of a person’s education level or the ability to engage in work.

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