When applying for social security disability (“SSD”) benefits, it is important to mention a claimant’s inability to communicate in English. A client’s application was approved today which illustrates this point.
The claimant, who was born March 20, 1957 and was 49 years old at the onset of his disability, was from El Salvador and could not read, write or speak English. The claimant’s past work was all unskilled, manual labor.
The claimant’s application was approved less than two months after submitting a request for a fully favorable decision on the record (“OTR”), which meant he did not have to wait two years for a hearing. The application was approved based on the “medical-vocational rules” 201.17 and 201.09. Without discussing the medical vocational or “grid rules” in detail, rule 201.17 requires a person between the ages of 45 and 49 with an unskilled work history to be found disabled if unable to communicate in English. In contrast, if the claimant were able to speak English, the grid rules require that the claimant be found not disabled.
This case illustrates how vocational evidence can be just as important as medical evidence.Previous Next
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