Can You Get Social Security Disability and Unemployment at the Same Time?

August 3, 2017
Dayes Law Firm

Although it is possible to get Social Security disability benefits while you are receiving other types of government benefits, it is important to understand how these programs interact with each other and the impact they could have on your disability claim.

Unemployment benefits are a common resource for individuals who are not working. However, applying for disability benefits while you are receiving unemployment is complicated and risky.

This is because Social Security disability benefits are reserved for individuals who are unable to work, while unemployment benefits are for individuals who are able and willing to work but are currently unemployed or underemployed.

The trusted Phoenix Social Security disability lawyers at Dayes Law Firm PC have extensive experience helping claimants apply for the benefits they deserve. Through a free consultation, we can review your situation and determine the options that are best for you.

Unemployment Eligibility

Unemployment benefits are payments made by the state to individuals who are currently unemployed and not working. To be eligible for unemployment, you must:

  • Be unemployed through no fault of your own
  • Have earned at least a minimum amount in wages in the 12 months prior to your unemployment
  • Be physically able and willing to work and actively seeking employment

Social Security Disability Requirements

In contrast, individuals are eligible for Social Security disability benefits if they suffer from a disability that prevents them from working.

The individual must meet the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) definition of disability, which requires that the individual:

  • Cannot work in his or her previous job
  • Cannot work in any other type of job
  • Has a disability that has lasted or is expected to last at least one year or result in death

Those applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), must also meet certain income requirements. When determining your income, the SSA will consider all earned and unearned income. Because it considers unemployment benefits as unearned income, this could affect your eligibility for SSI.

Receiving Both Types of Benefits at the Same Time

Although receiving unemployment benefits does not disqualify an individual from obtaining disability benefits, it is something that will be considered during the application process.

Disability claims examiners and administrative law judges (ALJ) who review the details of your application will take into consideration the fact that you are receiving unemployment benefits when considering if you are disabled.

Because unemployment benefits require that you are able to work, claims examiners and ALJ may take that as an indication that your disability does not prevent you from working. However, they can take into account the types of jobs you are applying for.

Additionally, because unemployment benefits require that you are physically able to work, an application for disability could indicate that you are not physically able to work. You may be required to report to the Arizona Department of Economic Security if you apply for disability benefits and you may have to pay back portions of your unemployment earnings.

Contact an Experienced Social Security Disability Lawyer

These are all important considerations that should be taken into account when you are applying for disability benefits. Because there are many risks involved with applying for disability benefits while earning unemployment, you should consult a reputable disability attorney for advice on this subject.

Dayes Law Firm PC has represented claimants for years and has a strong understanding of the requirements for obtaining disability benefits. We can review your situation and help you determine you best options.

Call 1-800-503-2000 today to schedule a free case review with one of our experienced disability attorneys.