A new Social Security Administration (SSA) rule goes into effect on April 27 that is likely to make it a lot harder for around 10,000 people every year to qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits.
Part of SSA’s decision-making process on each disability claim is looking to see if the claimant could do some other kind of work that is more suitable to their physical and mental limitations. In the past, a claimant’s inability to speak English was generally considered to be fairly limiting when it comes to job opportunities or retraining. That’s particularly true for middle-aged and older applicants who don’t have a lot of education.
Under the new rule, however, the inability to speak English is no longer a consideration. According to the current administration, this is bringing SSA into the present. Advocates for the change basically made it sound like anybody could claim to not speak English and they’d somehow have a huge advantage over other applicants. They say that it’s unfair because large sections of the country are now multilingual. As Social Security Commissioner Andrew Saul stated, “It’s important that we have an up-to-date disability program.”
Others have a different take on the new rule. They call it a “disgrace” and say that it will make vulnerable people suffer for no good reason. It will also make it harder for a certain subset of people to qualify for disability benefits.
Now, more than ever, it’s hard to get a Social Security Disability claim approved without assistance. If you’ve been denied benefits, find out how an attorney can help you win your claim on appeal.