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UPDATE: SSA Just Made it Harder to Get Disability

One frustrating thing about working with the government is the changes that come due to

politics. Yesterday, SSA announced in a disingenuously positive way that they are "modernizing" their rules regarding English speaking ability and how that factors into whether someone is disabled. (See SSA's announcement).

Under the previous rules, if you were between 45-50 years old, did not have a high school education and are illiterate or cannot communicate in English, you could be found disabled based on your medical conditions, whereas if you could speak English, you would not be found disabled. (See the Medical Vocational "Grids" Rules).

The rule made sense, because it acknowledged the reality that there would be far more limited jobs for someone who cannot communicate in English and has a limited education, and even less if that person has a physical disability that prevents them from doing certain types of jobs.

Apparently, SSA's way to "modernize" this rule is to eliminate it altogether, or, at least that is what they seem to be saying. Really, they do not come out and say that, because they know this will negatively affect many people. The question I have is whether they will retrospectively review people currently on disability due to the Grids Rule and take away the SSI or SSDI benefits they are already receiving.

Regardless of your political opinions, it is clear the reason they are changing their policies is due to our current President, who runs the executive branch (which includes SSA). His policies are to reduce government benefits, and rather than take away retirement from his core voter base, he intends to take away benefits from disabled claimants who cannot speak English (and likely would not vote for him). This is the reality.

If you disagree with this, you can contact your representatives and demand that they pressure POTUS to stop. I find that Resistbot makes it extremely easy to send a letter straight from your phone.

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