Don’t Change English Proficiency Rules On Social Security

April 2, 2019

Disability Justice, News

Image shows a NYLPI sign on the steps of New York's Tweed Courthouse in Lower Manhattan

NYLPI has signed on, along with more than 100 other organizations, to a comment letter to the Social Security Administration, calling on them not to change the  rules around English proficiency.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the Social Security Administration (SSA)’s proposed rule, “Removing Inability to Communicate in English as an Education Category.” The undersigned organizations are members of a campaign united to protect and defend access to basic needs programs for immigrants and their families.

Under current law, proficiency in English is one of the considerations used by the Social Security Administration when making a disability determination for claimants who don’t meet a medical impairment listing. While a limited proficiency in English is not alone sufficient to establish disability, it may be considered in coordination with other factors, including the skill level of the person’s previous jobs, whether any of those skills could be transferred to a new job, and the physical residual functional capacity of the claimant

We are deeply concerned by this proposal which would result in Limited English Proficient (LEP) individuals with disabilities being wrongfully denied access to vital economic support which helps them to live healthy and secure lives in the United States. We submit the following comment to oppose the proposed rule and provide insight on the continuing challenges immigrants and LEP individuals living with disabilities face in our economy.

You can read the letter here.

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