A new report from the Office of Inspector General (OIG) indicates that the Social Security Administration (SSA) has been awarding disability payments to Puerto Ricans in part because their native language is Spanish — despite the fact that Spanish is the primary language of Puerto Rico.
As the report explains, the SSA has a standard evaluation grid it uses to determine if someone is capable of working, and the "ability to speak, read, write, and understand English is considered an educational factor." When evaluating candidates for benefits in Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory, the SSA uses the exact same guidelines.
Between 2011 and 2013, at least 218 Puerto Ricans received payments because of "an inability to communicate in English."
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