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Rule change may require English proficiency for older applicants

The United States of American is often described as a melting pot where individuals of different races and backgrounds, religions and beliefs, live together in a relatively harmonious shared community. This description accurately describes Oklahoma, where individuals of all walks of life come together in their places of employment, residential developments, and institutions of learning. It is not uncommon to hear different languages being spoken as one walks down the street or rides on a city bus.

In the near future, however, one of those unique characteristics may be identified and used as a means of preventing some adults from pursuing disability benefits. The federal government is looking into cutting disability benefits to older citizens who do not speak English. That would mean that adults aged 45 and older who could not speak English would potentially lose their disability benefits.

As one can imagine, advocates on both sides of the issue are deeply divided on what should be considered the right thing to do. While some claim that more citizens are speaking English than in the past, others claim that the proposed rule change discriminates against those who choose to use their original languages to communicate.

As of now it is not a requirement that older disabled citizens prove that they speak English in order to receive their benefits from the Social Security Administration. Americans will have to wait and see what happens with regard to this somewhat controversial topic. Those who have questions about this prospective rule change, or questions about other issues related to disability benefits, are encouraged to contact their trusted local attorneys.

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The Law Center for Social
Security Disability

414 NW 4th Street Suite 140
Oklahoma City, OK 73102

Phone: 405-896-8852
Fax: 405-272-0367
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