I-2-3-45.Providing Spanish Language Translations of Forms and Notices

Last Update: 11/19/18 (Transmittal I-2-219)

A. When to Provide Spanish Language Forms and Notices

The hearing office (HO) will provide Spanish language forms and notices to a claimant when requested or when there is reason to believe the claimant would more likely understand Spanish language forms and notices than those written in English. For example, the HO will usually provide Spanish language forms and notices when a claimant has not waived the right to receive Spanish language forms and notices and the record shows:

  • Prior use of a Spanish language translator or interpreter;

  • Another component sent Spanish language notices; or

  • The claimant's primary language is Spanish and the claimant has difficulty with reading, writing, or understanding English.

For additional examples, see Program Operations Manual System NL 00601.600C.

If a form requires a signature and the claimant received both an English and Spanish language version of the form, HO staff will ask the claimant to sign the Spanish language version of the form. The Spanish language version of the form is considered the official copy for the record. The claimant is not required to also sign the English language version of the form.

B. Procedures

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has Spanish language versions of many of its standardized forms, as well as some notice templates. The translated forms and notices can be found in the inForm Library.

For non-standardized notices or forms that require translation, the HO may use HO staff or contractors who are available and able to translate the information correctly.

When the HO cannot obtain a translated copy of a non-standardized notice or form, or translation would be overly burdensome, the HO will either:

  • Attach a cover letter in the Spanish language instructing the individual to fill out the English version of the notice or form and, if needed, obtain assistance reading the English version of the notice; or

  • If parts of the form or notice are already translated in the Spanish language, insert the following phrase where needed (which translated means “Please refer to the attached English version of this form.”):

    “Por favor de referir a la version en ingles anexo a esta forma.”

HO staff will include dates, times, and full names and addresses on the Spanish language form or notice. To avoid any confusion, when using dates on the form or notice, HO staff will spell the month instead of using a numerical number. The months in English and Spanish are as follows:

January – enero

July – julio

February – febrero

August – agosto

March – marzo

September – septiembre

April – abril

October – octubre

May – mayo

November – noviembre

June – junio

December – diciembre

When sending the form or notice to the claimant, HO staff will place the Spanish language version on top of the English version. If the claimant is represented, the HO will also send a copy of both versions of the form or notice to the representative. HO staff will be sure to add a copy of both the English and Spanish language versions of the form or notice to the claim(s) file.


If an administrative law judge (ALJ) intends to exhibit the form or notice (see generally Hearings, Appeals and Litigation Law manual I-2-1-15), the ALJ will exhibit the version signed by the claimant or, when a signature was not required, the original version of the form or notice. Though not exhibited, the ALJ will also retain the translated document in the same section of the claim(s) file as the exhibited document. If the claim(s) file is electronic, assisting staff will complete the NOTE field in eView for the translated document, noting to which exhibit the translation relates. For example, staff would note a translation of Exhibit 2B as “Translation of Ex. 2B.” In a paper file, staff will place the translation on top of the exhibit and annotate each page “translation of” followed by the exhibit number and number of pages of the translation. For example, staff would annotate the translation of Exhibit 2B page one of two as “Translation of Ex. 2B, page 1 of 2.”