Washington Free Beacon reporter Elizabeth Harrington appeared on Fox and Friends Saturday to discuss her story on non-English speakers being fast-tracked for federal disability approval.
Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee Jeff Sessions (R., Ala.) sent a letter obtained exclusively by the Free Beacon to Acting Commissioner of the Social Security Administration Carolyn Colvin on Thursday, raising concerns regarding revelations that individuals who cannot speak English are fast-tracked for disability approval.
"I write to express my concerns about the expanding number of individuals now qualified for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), and to raise a specific issue, the basis for many of these individuals’ disability classification, where the inability to speak English is a determinative factor," Sessions said.
Sessions revealed a policy for SSDI payments that allows individuals to qualify for benefits more quickly if "they are incapable of communicating in English."
The Social Security Act allows for the consideration of education when deciding if an individual is disabled. "The education factor is not limited to actual education as it relates to schooling, but includes a linguistic limitation on the ability to communicate in the English language," Sessions said.
"It's almost a loophole," she said. "Social Security disability insurance is meant for individuals in the workforce, American citizens who are no longer able to work because of a physical or mental impairment. To become an American citizen, you have to demonstrate at least a basic knowledge of the English language, and now they're finding in these hearings individuals applying are saying, ‘Oh, I can't speak English' through a translator. They don't have to prove it, and they're getting automatically approved."