Puerto Ricans Qualify as Disabled for Social Security Because They Can’t Speak English
Hundreds of Puerto Rico’s residents qualified for federal disability benefits in recent years because they lacked fluency in English, according to government auditors.
The Social Security Administration’s inspector general questioned the policy this month in light of the fact that Spanish is the predominant language in the U.S. territory.
Under Social Security regulations, individuals are considered less employable in the United States if they can’t speak English, regardless of their work experience or level of education.
In a report this month, the independent watchdog suggested that a more appropriate standard might be to consider local conditions when making benefits decisions.
According to the latest U.S. Census Bureau data, 95 percent of Puerto Rico residents above age 5 speak Spanish at home, and about 84 percent say they do not speak English “very well.” (Read more from “Puerto Ricans Who Can’t Speak English Qualify as Disabled for Social Security” HERE)
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