55% of the American Population Has Received Government Assistance:
The United States government offers more than 1,000 federal programs that aim to aid and assist individuals living in this country. There are programs set up to help many segments of our society; Social Security for retired people and disabled workers, Medicare for senior citizens, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), (SNAP) food stamp program that allows people to buy groceries, welfare for low-income families as well as unemployment benefits for workers who have lost their jobs. There are also programs that provide assistance for veterans, farmers, homeowners, business owners or the disabled. 55% of the American population has received government benefits from at least one of the six best-known federal entitlement programs: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, welfare or unemployment benefits. 50% of the Hispanic population in American has received federal help from these programs and 11% say they have received aid from three or more benefits. In 2013, 25.1 million people living in the US were considered limited English proficient (LEP), which equates to 8% of the population not being able to speak, read or write English fluently. These programs provide much needed relief for many citizens, but what if you’re in need of governmental assistance but do not speak English. Applications, paperwork and conversations take place in order to collect all the information needed to ensure a person is qualified for benefits, this requires the person applying understand the questions and is able to answer correctly. If a person doesn’t speak English the only way to effectively facilitate communication is through providing interpretation services.
Providing Interpretation Services for Limited English Proficient (LEP) Individuals When Seeking Federally Funded Aid is the Law:
In 1974, the Supreme Court decided in reference to Lau v. Nichols – 414 US 563 that government agencies discriminate against people with limited English proficiency if they do not provide interpretation services for LEP individuals when they seek access to governmental services or benefits. The court found the language a person speaks is closely connected with their national origin and that language based discrimination is essentially discrimination based on national origin. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits government agencies that receive federal funding from discriminating against individuals because of their race, color, or national origin. This means it’s against the law for interpretation services to not be offered to LEP individuals if needed when seeking government assistance.
Obtaining and Providing Interpretation Services:
The growth in diversity has made language barriers a common challenge for English speaking as well as non-English speaking individuals in the United States. Bridging language gaps and ensuring communication is facilitated is important in order to provide governmental assistant to the many LEP individuals who need aid. Providing professional interpretation services break down language barriers and ensure everyone involved understands the information at hand. Language barriers are frustrating for English speakers, but think about how frustrating it can be for the LEP individual. Offering interpretation services such as on-site interpretation, telephone interpretation or video remote interpreting (VRI) can ease the stress of an already stressful situation and provide a bridge that connects the language gap. Abiding by the law and helping to accommodate and extend understanding to people who do not speak English, can easily be achieved by hiring a reputable language service company (LSC). Niki’s Int’l Ltd. is a LSC with over 20 years experience providing professional interpretation services. Niki’s Int’l Ltd. provides experienced and qualified interpreters so you can be sure your interpretation will be completed with the utmost accuracy. The role of an interpreter is of vital importance, without that link, misinterpretations can occur which potentially could cause LEP individuals to not qualify for the assistance they may need. Providing professional interpretation services can ensure no one is lost in translation when they are seeking help in order to find their way.
Niki’s Int’l Ltd. is a WBENC-Certified Women Business Enterprise with 20 years of language service experience. A global network of highly skilled interpreters and translators are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for on-site, telephonic and video remote interpretation services. Our linguists are available in over 350 languages and dialects, and our network includes certified interpreters and translators. Our work is guaranteed with a $1 Million Errors & Omissions policy, so that you can be confident that your project will be completed with the highest level of quality and professionalism within the field. For more information contact us at 1-877-567-8449 or visit our website at www.nilservices.com.