For Important Evidence-Based Work Decisions
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Not able to Speak English

Non-English Speaking

Adjustments to Consider: NONE

Use the values from work history 

Rationale: No matter in what language an occupation was learned or successfully performed, the worker has demonstrated the acquisition of work skills and experience dealing with certain kinds of materials, products, subject matter, and services. Inability to communicate in English does not change the fact of that skill acquisition. The non-English speaking worker possesses occupational skills that can be quite successfully performed, but perhaps only in a specific situation in which the individual's native language is used. Occupational issues hinge more on selective placement, learning English as a second language, or interpreter/co-worker assistance.

Impact: Language barriers are predominantly a matter affecting placement potential, not occupational skill. Reduction of GED-RML because of inability to speak English leads to an inappropriate reduction of occupational options. Selective placement and resolution of communication challenges are key to occupational planning. 

NEW SOCIAL SECURITY RULING: The Social Security Administration (SSA) posted in the Federal Register on 3/9/2020 a new Social Security Ruling (SSR) that becomes effective 4/27/2020. It is called SSR 20-01p, How We Determine an Individual's Education Category. SSR 20-01p is now published at SSA

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