Social Security Disability and Unemployment Benefits

Can You File and Receive Unemployment and File for Disability at the Same Time?

Struggling with a debilitating physical or mental disability can make it next to impossible to hold a full-time job. If you have recently developed a medical condition that makes it extremely difficult to work and provide for yourself and your family, you may be considering applying for Social Security disability.

While Social Security disability benefits can reduce some of the financial burdens you may be experiencing due to your disabling condition, it can take a significant amount of time to receive those benefits. While you are waiting for your benefits to be approved by the Social Security Administration and are unable to work, you may consider pursuing alternate benefit support like unemployment benefits. However, you should discuss any decision regarding funding with your Social Security disability attorney before going forward.

At Parmele Law Firm, we are experts in social security disability law. With our experience, knowledge, and dedication, we have helped thousands of people like you win their social security disability claim. Contact us today for a free consultation!

What Are Unemployment Benefits?

Unemployment benefits refer to financial support provided through a joint federal-state government program. Unemployment provides temporary payments to employees who lost their job through no fault of their own, due to layoffs and other similar situations. These benefits are in place to temporarily replace lost wages until a person finds another job.

Each state has different qualifications to receive unemployment benefits. A person must meet their particular state’s requirements for wages earned or time worked during a set period of time. This period of time is referred to as the base period. While each state’s base period is slightly different, most refer to the last four or five calendar year quarters before a person filed an unemployment claim.

States also have differing upper limits on the total weekly benefit amount that are based on the average earnings in that state. The benefits are taxable, and any other source of income a person receives while receiving unemployment benefits must be reported to the unemployment agency in their state.

How Do Unemployment Benefits and Social Security Disability Benefits Differ?

While both unemployment and Social Security disability benefits provide financial support to those who are unable to work, the qualifications for each differ greatly. To receive unemployment, a person must show that they are actively seeking other gainful employment. With Social Security disability, the main qualifying factor is a person’s inability to perform any work in the national economy on a full-time basis. Applying for both means that a person provides contrary information to two different government agencies.

Can I Apply for Both Types of Benefits?

While a person can apply for both unemployment and Social Security disability benefits, there can be adverse effects to the disability claim. The Social Security Administration’s official stance is that receiving unemployment benefits does not disqualify them from receiving disability benefits. However, unemployment benefits can create an adverse credibility factor for the administrative law judge that is reviewing the case. If a person is receiving unemployment benefits, they have claimed to be actively seeking full-time employment, which can indicate that their disabilities may not be as severe as they claimed.

Many states have also begun implementing regulations and legislation that require a person to repay unemployment benefits that were received during the time the Social Security Administration ruled that the person was disabled. This can result in less back pay when a favorable disability ruling is reached or the possibility of owing the government money if the unemployment funds were more than the back pay from Social Security disability.

Social Security Disability Advice From Parmele Law Firm

If you are considering filing for both unemployment and Social Security disability benefits, you should discuss any potential consequences with a disability lawyer before applying. The disability lawyers at Parmele Law Firm will examine your case and help you determine the best course of action for your particular situation. For more information and to schedule your free consultation, contact Parmele Law Firm today.