Social security disability benefits are classified into benefits a person draws based on his/her own, or another worker’s social security taxes – SSDI (social security disability benefits) and SSI (supplemental security income) respectively. Medical chart reviews are vital to determine the claimant’s eligibility for disability benefits. The SSA (Social Security Administration) frequently updates their rules and regulations, and social security disability attorneys need to stay abreast with these.
In February 2020, social security commissioner Andrew Saul announced a new final rule that modernized an old rule introduced in 1978 and has not been modified or changed so far. This new regulation termed “Removing the Inability to Communicate in English as an Education Category” is meant to update the more than 40 years old disability rule that doesn’t reflect the work in the modern economy. The rule will be effective on April 27, 2020. With this new regulation, the inability to communicate in English will no longer be a factor in awarding disability benefits. For a disability benefit applicant, the evaluation of his/her education is one of the necessary steps in the process. This is as part of an effort to check whether they have the capacity to work outside the scope of their medical condition. Till now, the education assessment used to consider whether the applicant spoke English.
The new rule would remove English speaking as a factor of educational attainment, which could make it more difficult for non-English speakers to qualify for the benefits.
According to Commissioner Saul, the American workforce and work opportunities have changed phenomenally and outmoded regulations should be revised to reflect the present-day world. If the disability system is to be successful, it must advance and support the right disability determination as early in the process is possible. The SSA’s disability regulations must surely continue to reflect current medicine and evolution of work.
- The SSA has to consider education to determine if a person’s medical condition prevents work.
- Research has found that the inability to communicate in English is no longer a good measure of educational accomplishment or the ability to engage in work.
Like the SSA’s other rules, this new regulation supports the administration’s mission to ensure that individuals with disabilities can remain in the workforce.