Social Security Disability and Unemployment Compensation
Many people who apply for Social Security Disability benefits wonder if it would be possible to collect unemployment insurance while their claim is being processed. After all, it can take several years to get approved for Social Security Disability benefits and it can be difficult to make ends meet until then. While there is no law stating that you cannot apply for Social Security Disability benefits while you're receiving unemployment insurance, doing so can affect your chances of getting approved for Social Security Disability benefits in some cases. If you're receiving unemployment insurance, applying for Social Security Disability benefits is contradictory because you're claiming that you're able and willing to work by accepting unemployment insurance. But by applying for Social Security Disability benefits, you're claiming that you cannot perform substantial gainful activity because you're completely disabled. Judges tend to look unfavorably on this and are less likely to consider you disabled and therefore eligible for disability benefits. That being said, receiving unemployment benefits does not preclude the receipt of Social Security Disability benefits. It is only one of many factors that a judge will consider when determining whether or not you're eligible for Social Security Disability benefits. Some people who receive unemployment insurance are approved for Social Security Disability benefits. It is something that is decided on a case-by-case basis. However, once you're approved for Social Security Disability benefits, you should stop accepting unemployment benefits. If you decide to apply for Social Security Disability benefits and accept unemployment compensation, keep in mind that the judge may ask you to explain how it is that you cannot perform competitive work if you've asserted that you're willing and able to accept employment through accepting unemployment insurance. Unemployment insurance is meant for people who are actively seeking work and need financial assistance until they find a job. However, many judges understand that people seeking disability benefits need to get some income, so you won't necessarily be disqualified from applying for or receiving Social Security Disability. Have More Questions About Applying for Social Security Disability?Whether you're receiving unemployment benefits already or you're thinking of applying for unemployment insurance and Social Security Disability benefits simultaneously, please call 404.250.7000 or fill out our online contact form for a free evaluation of your situation.