A common question that comes up when clients need to apply for Social Security Disability is whether or not they can also receive unemployment benefits. If you are waiting on disability, of course you are interested in other forms of income – unemployment being one of them. But the situation can become complicated very quickly if you are not careful about what benefits you apply for.
Of course, there are some unique situations where you can get both Social Security Disability and unemployment. To understand what your options are, you need to look at the requirements of both types of benefits and see how your specific circumstances relate to these requirements. You also need to consider the inherent risks of applying for both. Individuals that apply for both benefits run the risk of having their disability application denied. Because of the potential complications and the risks, it is always advisable to talk to a Social Security attorney before you make a decision and take actions that could have unforeseen consequences.
Social Security Disability And Unemployment Benefit Requirements
The requirements for each type of benefit demonstrate why it is so uncommon for individuals to get both types of benefits simultaneously. Social Security Disability is intended for people that are unable to work, while unemployment is intended for those who are capable and willing to work, but are temporarily unable to find employment.
Social Security Disability
To successfully apply for Social Security disability, you must be unable to work a regular, full-time job for at least a period of 12 months. You can also qualify if there is an expectation that you will not be able to work a full-time job for 12 months.
To successfully apply for unemployment benefits, you are expected to be able to work on a full-time basis. These benefits are contingent on you being ready and willing to take a job when one is offered to you.
Applying For Both Types Of Benefits
While it does not usually happen, it is possible to find a middle ground and get both types of benefits at the same time. The Social Security Administration looks at all claims to determine if full benefits are warranted or if you can work in a smaller capacity, and are therefore only eligible for limited benefits. If you were only able to work part time, and thus were receiving a reduced amount of disability, then you may be able to qualify for unemployment if you were unable to find work.
Problems With Seeking Both
Although it may be possible to seek both types of benefits, there are some very good reasons why you should hesitate to do so. Applying for Social Security Disability is, on its own, pretty challenging. You can expect to be denied in your initial application – as most people are – and therefore you will need to appeal the decision. The appeals process can take months and possibly years, and you may wind up needing to go in front of an administrative law judge (ALJ) for a decision.
In each step of the application and appeals process, your request for benefits is looked at and reviewed by an individual, such as a claims representative or an ALJ. Each of these individuals has the power to turn down your application, which will lead to the need to appeal or may ultimately result in full denial of your request. These individuals, particularly the ALJ, may consider your collection of unemployment benefits negatively when deciding on your request for disability benefits. You could be denied simply for collecting unemployment.
Contact a Social Security Disability Law Firm Now To Discuss Your Options
If you are considering applying for Social Security Disability and unemployment at the same time, please contact Paul Giannetti now. I offer a free initial consultation where you can explain your situation and get valuable, informed feedback on what you should do next. Avoid making costly mistakes. Contact me now so I can help you get the benefits you need.