World

Federal audit says lack of English skills got disability benefits for some Puerto Ricans

A federal audit has found that some Puerto Ricans living in the U.S. territory have received disability benefits in part because they could not speak English.

The Office of the Inspector General for the Social Security Administration said in a report issued this month that there were 218 cases from 2011 to 2013 in which benefits were granted under those circumstances.

The report said Social Security determined it was difficult for those people to find a job because they did not speak English, but the inspector general said they could have found work given their Spanish-speaking skills in a largely Spanish-speaking island.

English and Spanish are Puerto Rico's official languages, but some 84 percent of people in Puerto Rico say they do not speak English very well.