Is It Inconsistent For Me To Apply For Unemployment Insurance And Social Security Benefits?
That’s a great question and many Social Security Administrative Law Judges believe that collecting Unemployment Insurance and Social Security benefits is “double dipping.”
What’s the inconsistency?
When you apply for Unemployment Compensation benefits, you’re certifying that you’re able to work. Yet, when you apply for Social Security Disability benefits, you’re certifying that you can’t work. Which is it?
What’s the Social Security rule and policy?
The Social Security rules and policy provide that the “receipt of unemployment insurance benefits does not preclude the receipt of Social Security Disability benefits.” It is only “one of the many factors that must be considered in determining whether the claimant is disabled” and “a person can qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, even though they remain capable of performing some work.”
Therefore, the Chief Social Security Judge has issued a Memorandum to the Administrative Law Judges advising that it is “SSA’s position that individuals need not choose between applying for unemployment insurance and Social Security Disability benefits.” (Cite to the Memoranda of Chief ALJ Frank Cristaudo, dated November 15, 2006 Ref. No. 07-11; and August 9, 2010 Ref. No. 10-1258.)
So, how do the Tampa Bay Social Security judges apply this ruling?
Unfortunately, despite the Chief Judge’s pronouncement, some Administrative Law Judges simply won’t award SSDI benefits during a period of time in which you’ve collected unemployment benefits.
Others will award Social Security Disability benefits during a period of time in which you collected unemployment, if you can show:
1. You can only work part-time at less than presumed SGA levels due to medical impairment;
2. Can only work in a sheltered or accommodated work due to disability;
3. Can only work sporadically due to a medical impairment producing episodic incapacity to work;
4. Meets a medical vocational (grid) rule directing a finding of disability);
5. Filing in the alternative to preserve rights because you’re unsure of whether your medical condition meets the disability and duration requirements when filed; or
6. You honestly but mistakenly believed that you could work.
What should you do if you’ve applied for both Social Security Disability and Unemployment benefits?
Be sure to tell your disability attorney that you’ve applied for both because you can be assured that the Social Security Administrative Law Judge will ask you questions about the receipt of your unemployment benefits. You should be prepared to answer these questions honestly and accurately.
What should you do if your Social Security Disability claim has been denied?
Contact Tampa/St. Petersburg Social Security Disability attorney Nancy Cavey today who can help you get the Social Security Disability benefits you deserve. She can answer any questions you have regarding the receipt of unemployment compensation benefits and your Social Security Disability application. Call today at 727-894-3188.