Some Puerto Ricans Got Disability Because They Don’t Speak English-Truth!
Summary of eRumor:
Puerto Ricans who don’t speak English receive disability benefits.
It’s true that some Puerto Ricans have received disability benefits because they don’t speak English.
A report released by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) found that 218 Puerto Ricans had received disability benefits from 2011 to 2013 because they didn’t speak English.
That angered many people because Puerto Rico is a predominately Spanish-speaking country, even though both English and Spanish are listed as its official languages.
The Social Security Administration has medical-vocational guidelines that assume people who can’t read or write in English have limited ability to find a job in the U.S., making them eligible for disability benefits.
The problem is that these guidelines — or grid rules — also apply to Puerto Rico (a U.S. territory) even though most people in the country speak Spanish, according to the report:
“A claimant asserting an inability to read, write, or communicate in English may increase his/her likelihood of receiving disability benefits under the English-language grid rules in Puerto Rico when the claimant’s residual functional capacity and other vocational factors line up under grid rules. In attempting to determine the number of cases associated with the English-language grid rules, we found the agency lacked complete data to determine how often adjudicators in Puerto Rico used these grid rules since policy required DDS staff report on only a portion of the cases where these grid rules were relevant.”
The report said that the Social Security Administration would change its rules so that “factors that may affect a claimant’s ability to adjust to other work in the economy” could be considered.