Should I File For Unemployment And Social Security Disability
Becoming disabled is more than just a physical problem. Unable to work due to declining health, individuals with disabilities often face financial hardships as well. While a disabled person might immediately file for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, there is a minimum five-month wait period. Due to the vast number of disability applicants, approvals can take up to three years in some cases. Unfortunately, the financial responsibilities of life do not stop during difficult times.
Many individuals are forced to look for other means of financial assistance during this time. Some people turn to unemployment benefits as a means of support. While this may seem like a good idea, applying for unemployment can hurt a claimants ability to earn disability benefits. As the two programs serve very different purposes, applicants who apply for both may appear to be contradicting themselves.
Are There Exceptions To The Rule
As with most things, there are certain exceptions to the rule. For example, an individual might have lost their job and be receiving unemployment benefits, and then become disabled. These individuals might continue to collect unemployment while applying for disability benefits. In other unique circumstances, an individual over the age of fifty might have a disability that prevents them from keeping their previous job, and yet may still be capable of performing other work for which they have not been trained.
Still, these circumstances are rare. In fact, a 2012 report from the Government Accountability Office showed that fewer than one percent of SSDI beneficiaries also receive unemployment insurance benefits at the same time.
Social Security Offset Law
Previously, in some states, the amount of unemployment compensation was partially offset by the sum of social security payments that were received. In those locations, unemployment could have been reduced by 50% of your social security benefit.
It is called the “offset law” and, in the states where it was in effect, part of social security payments are counted as disqualifying income when calculating unemployment benefits.
What Is Unemployment Insurance
Unemployment assistance is available to most workers who lose their jobs through no fault of their own, such as former employees who have been laid off or terminated without a specific cause. States vary in what they consider no-fault terminations, which may affect approval of benefits. Reduced benefits are generally available to workers who remain employed, but whose working hours have been reduced by their employer.
Like Social Security, unemployment benefits are funded via a payroll withholding deduction, though the amount varies with the state where the work is performed. A minimum amount of work over the previous few years is usually required to build up eligibility, with the payment award amount determined by the average income a worker earned over the look-back period, which is the period of time used for computing base wages. As a rule, unemployment beneficiaries must look for work and be available for re-employment in order to continue to receive benefits.
Lack Of Income For Unemployment Claim
If you are out of work for one year or more, you may not qualify for unemployment compensation because you likely dont have sufficient past earnings. Generally, you must have received at least $1,300 in wages during the highest-earning quarter of your base period. You will also qualify if you earned at least $900 during your highest quarter and your overall base period earnings are 1.25 times more than this. If you dont qualify for unemployment based on this standard calculation, EDD will use an alternative one that looks at your earnings for the last four quarters immediately before the date you filed for unemployment.
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Applying For Both Programs
The process of applying for both unemployment and Social Security is not significantly different from applying for each program on its own. U.S. citizens become eligible for partial Social Security upon reaching age 62, with progressively higher benefits for deferred enrollment. To apply for retirement benefits, visit the SSA website and submit an application online. You may also apply by mail or in person at your local SSA office.
Most people can apply for unemployment online or by phone through their state’s unemployment office. In some cases, you may be scheduled for a telephone interview to confirm some of the details of your application. Outside of Minnesota, you do not generally have to disclose Social Security payments as income, though it is a good idea to mention your benefits to an unemployment intake worker to make sure the required paperwork is in order.
What Disability Judges Think About Collecting Unemployment
Disability judges usually know when you’re collecting unemployment benefits because Social Security has access to unemployment benefit information and usually includes it in your claims file. Some judges do not like to see that disability applicants are collecting unemployment benefits no matter what the circumstance. Other judges will deny your disability claim only if you received unemployment after you applied for disability benefits, unless you can prove your condition medically worsened since you applied for unemployment benefits. Other judges simply will not pay you disability benefits for the time period that you were receiving unemployment . Still others don’t care even if you’re receiving unemployment benefits at the time of your hearing. These judges realize that people need income to live on, and that there is no guarantee that disability benefits will be granted after the long process of applying for benefits.
In addition, in many states, you can collect unemployment even if you are ony looking for part-time work. Disability applicants are allowed to work a limited amount of time, and in these states, you are you are not necessarily telling the employment department that you are available to work full time.
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Canada Pension Plan Disability Benefits
The Canada Pension Plan provides monthly payments to people who contribute to the plan during their working years.
You may be eligible for CPP disability benefits if:
- you contributed to the CPP for a certain number of years
- you’re under 65 years old
- you have a severe and prolonged mental or physical disability
- your disability prevents you from working on a regular basis
The benefits include payments to children of a person with a disability.
Apply as early as possible if you think you’re eligible for CPP disability benefits. Quebec residents may be eligible for a similar program called the Quebec Pension Plan . It may take several months to process your application.
If you applied for CPP or QPP disability benefits and were told that you’re not eligible, you can ask to have your application reviewed or considered again.
Once you reach age 65, your CPP disability benefit will automatically change to regular CPP payments. Your regular CPP payments may be less than the CPP disability payments you got before.
If so, consider:
Whether To Apply For Unemployment Benefits
What should you do? To be safe, especially in the few states where filing an application for unemployment means you’re saying you’re available to work full time, some disablity applicants wait to apply for disability benefits until their unemployment benefits run out. Others change the date they say they became disabled until after their unemployment benefits have stopped.
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Can You Collect Unemployment If You Get Social Security
It is possible for some older adults to collect unemployment benefits at the same time they get income from Social Security. The rules for doing this can get complicated, and unemployment insurance laws are different in every state. It’s always a good idea to check with a senior financial planner or other expert for personal financial advice before making significant changes to your income stream.
Tens of millions of older American adults collect a monthly benefit from the Social Security Administration . At the same time, tens of millions more Americans receive bi-weekly unemployment benefits from their state’s unemployment insurance department. There is some overlap between these groups, and some seniors manage to collect unemployment benefits for periods when they are out of work or underemployed.
Can You Get Social Security Disability And Unemployment At The Same Time
On the other hand, Social Security disability benefits are for people who are unable to work. Claiming both disability and unemployment benefits at the same time is unusual, but it is possible in some cases. For example, individuals may receive reduced monthly disability payments if they can only work in a limited capacity.
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How To File For Unemployment
Eligibility for unemployment, the length of time one can receive unemployment, and the total amount of benefits received, vary state by state. The amount you will receive also depends on how much you earned at your former job.
You need to open a claim to apply for and begin collecting unemployment. For more information, check your state unemployment office website for information on what’s required to file a claim in your state.
Can I Apply For Both Unemployment & Long
Yes, you can apply for unemployment benefits and long-term benefits at the same time, but it is typically not a good idea. When you file your applications for benefits, you are contradicting yourself. On the unemployment application, you state you can work. On the disability application, you state you cannot work.
The state unemployment office may deny your application based on your assertion that you cannot work. Likewise, the Social Security Administration or the private disability insurance carrier may point to your unemployment application or benefits as proof that you can work.
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What Happens If You Cant Return To Work After An Injury That Isnt Job
The answer to this question depends on a couple of things. One of them is whether your injury is short-term or long-term. Texas does not provide for short-term disability coverage through the state. But if you have purchased a private short-term disability insurance policy or your employer provides it, you can file for benefits to cover the time off work due to your short-term injuries.
If you have an injury that is expected to leave you unable to work for a year or more, you may be able to get long-term disability benefits through Social Security. There are two types of benefits:
Social Security Disability Insurance SSDI is for people who have worked and paid into Social Security.Supplemental Security Income SSI is for disabled, elderly, or blind people with minimal income and resources.
You can visit the Social Security Administration for more information on these programs.
Collecting Unemployment And Social Security Disability Benefits Simultaneously
Contrary to what you might think, it is possible to collect Social Security disability insurance and unemployment benefits at the same time. Of course, it is rather difficult to qualify for both of these benefits at the same time because the eligibility criteria are fundamentally at odds. To qualify for unemployment, you must be actively looking for a job. To qualify for a disability claim with SSDI, you must be permanently and totally disabled. Only a small handful of applicants can meet both of these criteria.
If you receive unemployment benefits, the Social Security Administration will take them into account when they examine your SSDI application. It is your responsibility to prove to the SSA that thereâs no conflict between the two benefits.
The same is true for Supplemental Security Income benefits, which are paid to disabled persons. While it is theoretically possible to receive this benefit alongside unemployment benefits, the criteria for the two programs are again largely at odds with each other. Unlike receiving Social Security retirement benefits and SSDI, receiving unemployment benefits may reduce your Supplemental Security Income benefit. Claimants should consult with a qualified disability attorney in either of these cases in order to ensure that they are following the rules and receiving every benefit that they qualify for.
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How Are The Requirements For Unemployment And Disability Different
When an individual applies for unemployment benefits, the person is affirming that they have a desire to work and are actively seeking work, but that they are unable to find a suitable job. The typical unemployment candidate is capable of work but has often been laid off from their job for one reason or another. Because unemployment programs are state-based, the exact rules that govern them vary from state-to-state.
On the other hand, when a person applies for the federally-run SSDI program, they are stating that they have a health impairment that is so severe that it results in an inability to work at all. Further, they are attesting that their health condition will prohibit them from working for at least one year, but likely much longer.
Understanding the difference between the two programs should make the contradiction quite obvious. When applying for SSDI benefits, you are stating that you are incapable of working at gainful employment because of a severe health condition. When applying for unemployment benefits, you are affirming that you are ready, able, and willing to work, but that there are no opportunities available to you.
While the Social Security Administration does not explicitly prohibit individuals who are receiving unemployment benefits from earning an SSDI award, an Administrative Law Judge will most certainly take into account the fact that the claimant is stating that they are actively seeking employment, and yet are also too ill to work.
Can I Collect Disability Insurance Benefits If I Am Collecting Unemployment Benefits
It is challenging for a disabled claimant to obtain either short or long term disability benefits when they are receiving or have received unemployment benefits. It is not impossible to get STD or LTD benefits, but a claimant would be much better off not seeking unemployment. One of the criteria to be eligible for unemployment benefits is that the employee must be able to work, available to work and actively seeking work. In a situation where a person has an own occupation policy, then it could be possible to receive unemployment and disability benefits. The other important reason to not seek unemployment is that in most ERISA / GROUP disability policies, any unemployment benefits received will offset any disability benefits which are owed.
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Laid Off During The Pandemic
For more information about applying for disability after losing work, read our article about who’s eligible for disability after a layoff.
Potential Legal Loopholes That May Allow You To Collect Unemployment And Social Security Disability
The following are some examples of potential loopholes that might allow you to collect unemployment and disability benefits at the same time. Whether or not any given loophole will ultimately succeed is not cut and dried.
Instead, each of these options varies in its feasibility depending on your particular circumstances, and they carry varying degrees of legal risk. They are listed below in ascending order of legal risk .
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Filing A Disability Claim While On Unemployment Can Be Risky
Make sure you are doing the right thing and protected from risk. When filing unemployment or disability claims, talk to an attorney who understands both.
If you have any questions about a Social Security claim, contact a disability attorney at any of our offices across Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Illinois. Call or submit the Contact Form on our website for a free consultation.
Make Sure You’re Properly Covered: Get Professional Legal Help Today
If your case is especially complex, or you have additional questions about disability and unemployment, you may benefit from a consultation with a Social Security Disability Insurance lawyer. An attorney will understand how to navigate the system and ensure everything is filed correctly. Contact an experienced SSDI attorney today.
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Wages Paid Instead Of Notice Of Layoff
Wages paid instead of notice of layoff are payments an employer makes to an employee who is involuntarily separated without receiving prior notice.
You must report any wages paid instead of notice of layoff to TWC when you apply for benefits or by calling a Tele-Center at 800-939-6631. Under Texas law, you cannot receive benefits while you are receiving wages paid instead of advance notice of layoff. We will mail you a decision on whether your wages paid instead of notice of layoff affect your unemployment benefits.
Who Is Eligible For Unemployment And Social Security
Not everybody is eligible for Social Security or unemployment benefits. Both programs have lifetime work history requirements that have to be met before the programs are available to workers. Both programs also have strict citizenship, residency and other criteria to judge applicants’ eligibility for benefits.
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