For those in the process of applying for social security disability or supplemental security income, a new update may impact ESL or English as Second Language applicants.

Starting April 27, 2020 the Social Security Administration has ruled that the inability to communicate in English is no longer a factor in awarding benefits.

What Does This Mean?
Many factors are considered when reviewing an applicant such as education, medical disabilities and injury. Previously, under the education category, “the inability to communicate in English” was listed as a contributing factor to granting one’s SSDI or SSI application. The administration found this to be language discrimination and have updated the education category to reflect the times. The education category now focuses solely on one’s education level when considering their ability to work.

Will This Affect My Benefits?
While this may affect future applicants, it is unlikely to impact those approved for disability. The ability to speak English was never a deciding factor for an SSDI or SSI application. Therefore, the next time your case comes up for review, your benefits should not be affected if you meet the other qualifications for disability.

Future Updates
For more information on this update, read the official announcement on the SSA website. Signing up for SSA email updates is another great way to keep you informed on the process of applying for and maintaining your disability benefits.

For more information on applying for or appealing your social security disability application, contact Ladas and Hoopes. Statistically, 67% of social security applications are initially denied even if the applicant is qualified. The right lawyer can help you navigate the process, fight for you, and get you the benefits you deserve.