Sessions revealed a policy for SSDI payments that allows individuals to qualify for benefits more quickly if “they are incapable of communicating in English.”
The Social Security Act allows for the consideration of education when deciding if an individual is disabled. “The education factor is not limited to actual education as it relates to schooling, but includes a linguistic limitation on the ability to communicate in the English language,” Sessions said.
According to the Act, “Since the ability to speak, read and understand English is generally learned or increased at school, we may consider this an educational factor.”
Sessions said he is concerned that the administration is “misconstruing” this part of the Social Security Act, to approve disability applications solely on this factor.
In fact, former SSA judges have testified that individuals have been approved for disability without having to prove they cannot speak English. …
Social Security Administrative Law Judge Drew A. Swank also testified that, “there is no burden of proof placed on the individual to demonstrate an inability to communicate in English” at hearings. …
Enrollment in SSDI, which is intended to provide income for Americans who are unable to work, has ballooned in recent years. Roughly 6.7 million individuals received benefits in 2000, a number that grew to 11 million in 2012.