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Office of Analytics, Review, and Oversight

Volume I

Transmittal No. I-2-236

Chapter: I-2-1

Subject: Prehearing Analysis and Case Workup


This transmittal amends section I-2-1-70 of the Hearings, Appeals and Litigation Law (HALLEX) manual to update procedures for using foreign language interpreters.

Explanation of Content and Changes

I-2-1-70 – We updated the procedures for identifying when a foreign language interpreter is needed, the criteria for a qualified foreign language interpreter, and how to obtain a foreign language interpreter. In subsection A, we clarified that an administrative law judge will not test a claimant's English fluency to determine if an interpreter is needed. A note was added clarifying SSA will not provide interpreters for representatives, contractors, or vendors. In subsection B, we made changes to the criteria for foreign language interpreters, expressly requiring they agree not to change the original meaning of any questions or answers interpreted. In subsection C, we made changes to indicate that hearing office staff must use the micro-purchasing procedures for obtaining in-person language interpreter services rather than the blanket purchase agreement. We also added information as to where we permit in-person interpreters to be located for hearings by telephone or video teleconferencing and how to submit complaints about interpreters. We also made formatting and minor editorial changes throughout the section.

Date: June 25, 2020