Getting Social Security Disability Benefits and Unemployment

If you’re considering collecting unemployment and Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits, it may be problematic. When you file for unemployment compensation, you’re stating that you’re ready, willing and able to work. But, when you apply for SSD benefits, you’re saying that you’re unable to work, for at least twelve months.

The Social Security Administration’s (SSA) official stance on this issue is that collecting unemployment compensation is not a complete bar to being awarded SSD. However, collecting unemployment compensation during an alleged period of disability is a factor that administrative law judges (ALJ) can consider when they’re deciding whether you are disabled. ALJ’s will know when you’re collecting unemployment because Social Security has access to unemployment benefit information and usually includes it in your claims file.

Some ALJs don’t like to see that you’re collecting unemployment compensation no matter what your circumstance. Some ALJs will deny your case altogether if you received unemployment after you applied for disability benefits, unless you can prove your condition has medically worsened since you applied for unemployment compensation.

Other ALJs simply won’t pay you disability benefits for the time period that you were receiving unemployment. Yet others don’t care even if you’re receiving unemployment compensation at the time of your hearing. These ALJs realize that people need income to live on, and that there’s no guarantee that SSD benefits will be awarded after the long process of appealing your claim.

If you need help making it through the complicated process of getting SSD benefits, let our attorneys help you. Call us today.