From Mad World: It has been revealed that thousands of taxpayer dollars have been approved to pay for disability benefits of hundreds of people that never should have received a dime, and it was all done because of an accident.
According to IJ Review, “[T]he Office of the Inspector General found that the SSA is misapplying rules intended to provide financial assistance to those who can’t speak English in the United States.” In simple terms, these individuals have collected disability benefits because they don’t speak fluent English.
“We found the Agency did not make exceptions regarding the English-language grid rules for claimants who reside in Puerto Rico, even though Spanish is the predominant language spoken in the local economy,” explained the Office of the Inspector General.
Since there is no system that monitors who receives disability insurance due to their inability to speak English, it was easy for them to overlook the mistake. As the agency has reported, they have identified 218 cases between 2011 and 2013 where disability benefits were accidentally awarded due to the individuals’ “inability to communicate English.”
According to The Washington Free Beacon, “SSA managers at various disability decision levels stated Social Security is a national program, and the grids must be applied to the national economy, regardless of local conditions.”
Senator Jeff Sessions raised concerns last year that the Obama administration was using the education rule under the Social Security Act to allow certain people to obtain disability benefits solely based on their inability to speak English. It seems he may have been on to something.
There was even a 1987 U.S. District Court ruling that explains that “it is the ability to communicate in Spanish, not English, that is vocationally important in Puerto Rico.” Therefore, no Spanish-speaking individual in Puerto Rico should receive disability benefits due to their inability to speak English.