Unemployment and Disability Benefits

Collecting unemployment and applying for disability benefits.

If you choose to file for disability while receiving unemployment benefits you may be decreasing your chance of being awarded disability. If you are currently receiving unemployment, you are stating that you are ready and able to work and are actively searching for a job. By applying for disability you are stating that you have a physical or mental condition which prohibits you from being able to work for at least a year. These two statements go against each other.

The Social Security Administration states that receiving unemployment benefits does not prevent someone from receiving disability benefits. Some attorneys would advise against applying for disability while an individual is receiving unemployment. The Administrative Law Judge reviewing the case could consider the conflict grounds for denial. The ALJ can consider any jobs that the applicant has applied for while claiming unemployment when deciding about awarding benefits. If the applicant says that he/she cannot do physical labor but has applied for a job which requires it, the ALJ may deny the case based on that.

There are certain limited circumstances where a person may be entitled to both. It is complicated and certain criteria need to be met in the case of the unemployment as well as the disability claims. Overall there are some potential disadvantages to receiving unemployment while applying for disability. If you think you may qualify for both unemployment and disability, the best thing to do is to contact a disability lawyer who will help you determine what you should be applying for.