Aug 14, 2012

Interpreters

     Social Security's Chief Administrative Law Judge has issued a Bulletin on hiring interpreters for Administrative Law Judge hearings. It seems to indicate that the norm is to use an interpreter who participates only by telephone and that a claimant must make a special request for an in-person interpreter. 
     This does not seem adequate or fair to me.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Huh? Please point out wher ein that bulletin that they are supposed to coerce people into using a telephone interpretor?

"The preferred method of contact when [i]hiring[/i] interpreters is via telephone or email"

The language of the bulletin is completely neutral in regards to whether the claimant can have an interpreter present at the hearing or available by telephone. You're jumping the gun again, dial down the paranoia

Anonymous said...

We've had interpreters solely by telephone for a long time. I hate it, but I haven't found a way around it.

Worse is when the ALJ decides to use his court reporter as the interpreter. I have objected to this multiple times to no avail.

Anonymous said...

interpreter by telephone is remarkably similar to how live interpretation works at the UN. If it's good enough for international policy, it's good enough for disability hearings. Can someone identify what the objections for telephone interpretation are?? (aside from the knee jerk reaction to dislike any type of poicy put forth by the SSA)

Anonymous said...

Really, let's argue about a non-existant "issue." Interestingly, no rep complains about countless "non-English" claimants who answer questions before interpreters translate them...

Anonymous said...

Let's raise the alarms about facets of a hearing we think are improper (unconstitutional?) when there is no constitutional requirement for a hearing in the first place!

Anonymous said...

Can someone identify what the objections for telephone interpretation are?

I can. I am a disability rep and also am a qualified Spanish interpreter. Interpreters must read body language (such as a person pointing to where pain is felt or showing how high he/she can raise an arm). It is common for a non-English speaking claimant to need to ask for clarification and it is much easier to do that when the interpreter is physically there and can SEE the claimant. The interpreter can also see if the claimant looks confused and ensure that he/she understood what was asked.

Many times experts on the phone have a hard time hearing the judge, claimant, or me. Hearing things accurately is ESSENTIAL to effective interpretation and there is no way to guarantee that the phone equipment will provide that.

Comparing interpretation in UN proceedings and a disability hearing is truly an apples/oranges comparison.

Patricia . Strunk said...
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