What if I need an interpreter?
SSA is committed to providing access to the programs we administer regardless of an individual’s ability to communicate with us in English.
We will provide you with an interpreter free of charge if you request language assistance or when it is evident that such assistance is necessary to ensure that you are not disadvantaged.
You are not required to provide your own interpreter. If you prefer to use your own interpreter, we will determine whether the interpreter meets our requirements.
For in–office interviews, we use the interpreter poster (see attachment), which explains our interpreter policy in many languages and may be helpful in identifying the individual's preferred language.
We provide free interpreter services to help you conduct your Social Security business. These interpreter services are available whether you talk to us by phone or in the Social Security office.
Call our toll–free number, 1–800–772–1213. If you speak Spanish press 2. For all other languages, press 1 and stay on the line until a representative answers. An interpreter will be contacted to help with your call.
If your business cannot be completed by phone, we will make an appointment for you at a local Social Security office and arrange for an interpreter to be available at the time of your visit. .
Who can provide interpreter services?
We will not use minors as interpreters in dealing with complex or sensitive matters, unless it is clear that they also meet the requirements of a qualified interpreter. We require that your interpreter be an individual who:
What if Social Security believes that the interpreter is not qualified?
If we believe that your interpreter is not qualified, we will:
If the services of a telephone interpreter would be suitable, we will call a telephone interpreter service before we continue the interview.
If the services of a qualified in–office interpreter are necessary, we will:
(When using this spotlight as a handout, please print the attached poster separately from the spotlight. The poster is in pdf format (647 KB), and you will need Acrobat Reader to view it or print it out.)
THIS INFORMATION IS GENERAL.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CALL 1–800–772–1213 (TTY 1–800–325–0778),
VISIT OUR WEBSITE (www.socialsecurity.gov) ON THE INTERNET,
OR CONTACT YOUR LOCAL SOCIAL SECURITY OFFICE.