Great News for North Carolina Social Security Disability Applicants: Federal Government Now Required to Write in Plain English!

June 2, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

President Obama just signed the Plain Writing Act, a powerful law that will undoubtedly help North Carolina social security disability applicants who get confused by the officious and generally weird sounding language used in government documents.

The Act is the culmination of years of effort by people like Annetta Cheek, the Chairwoman for the Center for Plain Language. Cheek worked for Vice President Al Gore on federal regulations writing. She summarized a core frustration that many North Carolina social security disability applicants have: “Most of what the government writes has too much stuff.”

According to an AP article on the Plain Writing Act, federal agencies, starting in October, must “start writing plainly in all new or substantially revised documents produced for the public. The government will still be allowed to write nonsensically to itself.”

Unfortunately, confused applicants will not be able to sue the federal government for continuing to be obtuse in the face of these new rules. Cheek, according to the AP, “predicts significant improvement” thanks to the law. Many ornate, legalistic or hard to “parse” words will be banished from documents, including “pursuant, promulgated, thereunder, commencing, in accordance with, herein, precluded, heretofore, evidenced and practicable to name just a sampling of the no-no’s.”

All that said, even if and when the government gets its act together to write to instructions in cleaner, clearer language, SSD and SSI applicants will likely have plenty of questions and confusions. A North Carolina Social Security disability law firm can help you identify and deal with those concerns and clarify precisely what you need to do, when you need to do it and how you need do it, so you can rest assured that you are taking the right actions to get and keep your benefits (or appeal a negative decision). This way, you can go back to living your life, focusing on recovery, and taking care of your family without forfeiting key benefits.

More Web Resources:

Center for Plain Language

Plain Writing Act