Social Security Administration Approved Disability Benefits For Puerto Ricans Because They Can’t Speak English

Feds Consider Puerto Ricans Disabled Because They Speak Spanish – Washington Free Beacon

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The Social Security Administration (SSA) approved disability benefits for hundreds of Puerto Ricans because they do not speak English, despite the fact that Puerto Rico is a predominantly Spanish-speaking territory.

According to a new audit by the Office of Inspector General (OIG), the agency is misapplying rules that are intended to provide financial assistance to individuals who are illiterate or cannot speak English in the United States. Under the rules, Puerto Ricans are allowed to receive disability benefits for their inability to speak English as well.

“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,” the OIG said.

The audit said a person applying for disability in Puerto Rico who cannot speak English “may increase his/her likelihood of receiving disability benefits.”

The agency does not currently have a system in place to keep track of the number of beneficiaries who receive disability insurance for not being able to speak English.

However, the OIG was able to identify 218 cases between 2011 and 2013 where Puerto Ricans were awarded disability due to “an inability to communicate in English.” Furthermore, 4 percent of disability hearings in Puerto Rico involved looking at the individual’s ability to speak, read, write, and understand English.

Though 95 percent of Puerto Ricans speak Spanish at home, according to the rules a Spanish-speaking nurse in Puerto Rico would be considered “unskilled,” the OIG said.

The SSA told the OIG that the rules are applied one-size-fits-all.

“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,” the audit said.

The SSA takes into account an individual’s education level when considering awarding disability benefits if they do not qualify for medical reasons. Part of the education requirement involves looking at a person’s ability to speak English, to determine whether it limits his ability to find a job.

Last year Sen. Jeff Sessions (R., Ala.) raised concerns that the Obama administration was broadly applying the education rule under the Social Security Act to allow individuals to receive disability payments solely because they cannot speak English.

He noted that the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) rolls swelled 230 percent between 2000 and 2010, while the U.S. population only grew 9.7 percent.

Former SSA judges have also testified that individuals have been approved for disability in the United States without having to prove they cannot speak English.

The hundreds of Puerto Ricans noted in the OIG’s report have received disability insurance despite a 1987 U.S. District Court ruling that appears to contradict the SSA’s policy. Benefits were denied on the grounds that “it is the ability to communicate in Spanish, not English, that is vocationally important in Puerto Rico.”

“It should be noted, however, that the court explicitly declined to apply this rationale outside of this one case,” the OIG said.

The SSA agreed with the OIG’s recommendations to figure out how many individuals have been “awarded disability based on their inability to communicate in English,” and to “evaluate the appropriateness” of applying the English-speaking rules to Puerto Rico.

The SSA is currently gathering information for a proposed regulation that “could lead to changes” to the English-speaking rule, the agency said.

“Specifically, we are soliciting public comments and supporting research on how the inability to communicate in English affects an individual’s ability to adjust to other work that exists in the national economy,” the SSA said.

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Why is the government buying millions and millions of bullets?

The Lonely Conservative, among others poses this question

Andrew Malcolm reminds us that the Department of Homeland Security is still buying up ammunition. Lots of it. But they won’t say why, and it’s not the only federal agency buying bullets by the boatload.

In a puzzling, unexplained development, the Obama administration has been buying and storing vast amounts of ammunition in recent months, with the Department of Homeland Security just placing another order for an additional 21.6 million rounds.

Several other agencies of the federal government also began buying large quantities of bullets last year. The Social Security Administration, for instance, not normally considered on the frontlines of anything but dealing with seniors, explained that its purchase of millions of rounds was for special agents’ required quarterly weapons qualifications. They must be pretty poor shots.

But DHS has been silent about its need for numerous orders of bullets in the multiple millions. Indeed, Examiner writer Ryan Keller points out Janet Napolitano’s agency illegally redacted information from some ammunition solicitation forms following media inquiries.

According to one estimate, just since last spring DHS has stockpiled more than 1.6 billion bullets, mainly .40 caliber and 9mm. That’s sufficient firepower to shoot every American about five times. Including illegal immigrants.

To provide some perspective, experts estimate that at the peak of the Iraq war American troops were firing around 5.5 million rounds per month. At that rate, DHS is armed now for a 24-year Iraq war. (Read More)

Troubling? Yes, I was sitting here, wondering why the government would do this? Some possible answers include:

To limit availability, and or drive up the price? Sort of a back door form of gun control? I know there are other theories out there about more fiendish plots, but I am not buying into those. I do not think the government is looking to start killing us off. But, this ammo buying spree is interesting.

While I am talking guns. I am currently in the market for a new pistol for concealed carry. I am looking at .40 calibers mostly, and believe I have narrowed the choice down to two. Any thoughts on these two, or any suggestions on other .40, or .45 caliber designed for concealed carry? The Taurus MILLENNIUM PRO™ 140 .40 S&W PISTOL IN BLUE STEEL

T1

 or the Taurus 24/7-G240BC-15

T1

 

 

 

If you thought you hated back seat drivers before….

Wait until the federal government is back there, monitoring your driving. Chris at Wyblog is not happy

Every turn you make. Every exit you take. The Federal Government will be watching you. Starting on September 1st all new cars sold in the U.S. have to come with a Black Box, to record your activities in the event of a crash.

The thing is though, it’s always recording. So now when you get pulled over the cop doesn’t need to consult his radar gun, he can just download your speed from the ever-present electronic spy.

Not good, not good at all. Our liberty takes another kick in the pants in the name of “progress”. Chris sums it up

This is known as “progress”. It’s for your own good.

Yep, well, until those inevitable unintended consequences start rolling in, and this time we can blame Republicans and Democrats alike!