Can You Receive Disability and Unemployment at the Same Time?

Posted by Scott Flexer on Jun 21 2013

SSDI BenefitsThe answer to this important question really all depends on your situation, of course. However, if you are elligible for both types of benefits, in most states, you can.

Actually, the benefits you receive from unemployment insurance will not affect what you receive from Social Security. You might be pleasantly surprised to discover that Social Security doesn't count unemployment benefits as earnings. The only states where you might have an issue are Michigan, Illinois, Louisiana, Minnesota, and South Dakota - you may lose your unemployment benefits if you also start collecting disability in these states. So, in Florida, it is actually possible to receive both.

In 1999, there was a Supreme Court case known as Cleveland Vs. Policy Management Systems Corp. This case made it possible for anyone who applies for both types of benefits to have the right to explain why he or she ought to be able to collect both unemployment and disability, and why the two benefits don't contradict one another. On top of that, the case made it possible for individuals to be able to collect both types of benefits simultaneously.

Eligibility For Both Incomes

While collecting unemployment benefits, the government requires you to continually search for work. Of course, in order to look for employment, you must be physically capable of performing the search and, naturally, physically capable of working. In some states, you must look for full-time work, while other states only require you to look for part-time work. If you're currently disabled, you may not be capable of holding down a full-time job, but what about part-time? If this is the case, you may certainly qualify for disability benefits at the same time as unemployment benefits.

A medically qualified person may still receive disability benefits while working, as long as the income from their work isn't more than $1,070 per month.

Trial Period

Social Security has a trial period that will give you a chance to find a new line of work without the possibility of losing your disability benefits - in the meantime, you'll be able to decide whether or not you're capable of returning to work. This trial period, which lasts for 9 months, during a 60 month period. During the trial period, the government pays your benefits, without penalizing you for the amount you earn. If you happen to do work during the trial period, and lose your job due to a qualified cause, you may file for unemployment benefits and at the same time receive your original disability benefits.

Things To Keep In Mind 

If you're disabled and you receive unemployment together with disability and it's found that you're unable to work all together, there's a possibility that you'll have to repay all the unemployment you receive. There are even some circumstances in which you could be convicted with intentional fraud and deception. This is why it's so vital that you hire reputable and experienced benefits advocates to help you apply for benefits.


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Topics: disability benefits, disability, unemployment

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