Equity, General

Social Security Publishes Native Language Action Plan to Improve Access to Our Programs and Services

April 30, 2024 • By

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Last Updated: May 16, 2024

Native American coupleWe have published our first Native Language Action Plan to improve access to our programs and services. Our focus is on increasing our support to people who primarily communicate in native languages.

In our new Tribal Consultation and Call to Action Plan, we outline our commitment to engage in consultation and outreach in American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) communities. We created this multi-pronged approach following many discussions with Tribal leaders.

One of our priorities is to promote the availability of interpreter services for people who prefer to conduct business in their native language.

Our goal is to make sure our AIAN customers are aware that we can arrange and pay for interpreter services during Social Security appointments. Upon request, we can provide free interpreters to people who speak Navajo, Choctaw, and Alaskan Native languages, to name a few. You can learn more about our free interpreter services here.

Because we recognize it can be challenging to understand our programs and benefits, we are also committed to:

  • Partnering with organizations to market our information using TV monitors in clinics, Indian Health Service lobbies, senior citizen centers, and other facilities on or near Tribal communities.
  • Producing posters to display in our offices promoting the various ways we can support native languages.
  • Providing updates at our Office of Communications’ Quarterly Advocates meeting and asking for feedback on how to best support native languages.
  • Continuing to conduct Tribal Listening Sessions at national conferences to measure our progress in Tribal communities.
  • Releasing Dear Tribal Leader and Dear Urban Indian Organization Leader letters with up-to-date information about language support.
  • Actively recruiting and hiring bilingual employees to better support our customers in their native languages.

To learn more about our many Tribal resources, please visit our AIAN page.

For more information about our mission to improve equity and access to our services for all our customers who primarily communicate in languages other than English, visit our Advancing Equity page.


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  1. Sam S.

    While living abroad of SS Benefit Recipients and Medicare Members, there is no information how to use “Medicare Membership/Card”. Can medical coverage be used overseas , and how ?

    • Sue

      Hi, Sam. Thanks for reading our blog and for your question. Medicare usually doesn’t cover health care outside the U.S., with some exceptions. To learn more, check out the Medicare Coverage Outside the United States fact sheet. We hope this helps.


  2. Roger

    Hmm how many members of any native tribe actually know their native language??
    Just another shell game to steal.

    • Rosie L.

      My grandfather try to teach me when I was six years old. My mother did not trust the Federal government. She told me to keep speaking English.

  3. Helen H.

    Thank you SO much for doing this! Your efforts are rewarding because they show that the government cares about ALL of our citizens. Keep up the good work!


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