I-3-1-60.Providing Spanish Language Translations of Notices

Last Update: 11/19/18 (Transmittal I-3-165)

A. When to Provide Spanish Language Notices

The Appeals Council (AC) will provide Spanish language notices to a claimant when requested or when there is reason to believe the claimant would more likely understand a Spanish language notice than one written in English. For example, the AC will usually provide Spanish language notices when the claimant has not waived the right to receive Spanish language 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.


These instructions apply to cover letters of AC action documents (e.g., denial notices, grant review notices, and dismissal orders). When applicable, the AC must attach a Spanish language cover letter to the action document to ensure the claimant is informed of any appeal rights.


In the rare circumstance in which the AC needs the claimant who receives Spanish language notices to sign a Social Security Administration form, staff will send both an English and Spanish language version of the form, and ask the claimant to sign the Spanish 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 Document Generation System has standardized Spanish language cover notices for AC final action documents. When a Spanish language notice is needed, the analyst will prepare both the English and Spanish language cover notices, including the applicable dates, names, and addresses on both notices. To avoid any confusion, when using dates on the Spanish language notice, 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 notice, staff will place the Spanish language version on top of the English version. If the claimant is represented, staff will also send a copy of both versions of the notice to the representative. Staff will ensure that a copy of both the English and Spanish language versions of the form or notice is added to the claim(s) file.


If the AC intends to exhibit the form or notice, the AC 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 AC will also retain the translated document in the claim(s) file in the same section 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.”