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Will Unemployment Benefits Affect My Social Security Disability Benefits

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Explanations For Collecting Unemployment Benefits

How Receipt of Unemployment Benefits May Affect Your Social Security Disability Claim

If you have collected unemployment benefits and you attend an appeal hearing, be prepared to explain why you’re collecting unemployment benefits, or why you collected them recently. The judge may ask what jobs you applied for while you were collecting unemployment . If the jobs were ones that your stated limitations say you aren’t capable of doing , you may have a problem. You may want to offer to amend your alleged onset date to a date after you stopped collecting unemployment benefits.

Likewise, if you applied for a full-time desk job but are telling the judge you can’t sustain any full-time work, you may also have a problem. You could argue that you probably could not have been able to sustain full-time work for more than a few weeks without great pain or other symptoms or without getting fired. As federal judges have stated in the past, “A desire to work does not mean that a claimant can actually work,” and “Receipt of unemployment insurance benefits does not prove ability to work.”

If you have a valid argument that there is no legal conflict between your collecting unemployment benefits and disability benefits, tell the judge. Here are some examples:

Medical Improvement Can Stop Both Ssdi And Ssi

The rules surrounding cessation of benefits for medical improvement are the same for Social Security disability and SSI:

If your disabling medical or mental/psychiatric condition improve, the SSA can find that you are no longer disabled, making your benefit payments stop. The SSA periodically reviews the case of all beneficiaries to determine whether they are still disabled. But the standards used in “continuing disability reviews” for determining whether someone has improved enough to return to work are tough for the SSA to meet, and most disability beneficiaries continue to receive benefits after their review. For more information, see our article on Continuing Disability Reviews.

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    Returning To Work While On Ssdi

    If you return to work while receiving SSDI benefits, the SSA will want to determine if you are engaging in “substantial gainful activity” . The biggest factor in determining if work qualifies as SGA is the amount a person is paid. In 2021, someone is generally considered to be engaging in SGA if he or she earns more than $1,310 So, for example, if you are making, say, $200 per week doing part-time work, you would not be working over the SGA limit. However, this isn’t a cut and dry issue. If you are working a lot, it’s possible for the SSA to determine that your job duties constitute SGA even if you are earning less than the SGA amount.

    One exception to the SGA rule is what’s referred to as a “trial work period” . This period of time allows someone who is currently receiving SSDI benefits to attempt to return to work without automatically losing their SSDI eligibility. In most cases, you can work for up to nine months during your trial work period without causing your SSDI benefits to stop, regardless of how much you’re making. If, at the end of the TWP, you are still working and making over the SGA level, you will no longer be considered disabled and your Social Security payments will stop. For more information, see our article on the trial work period and the three-year time period that follows, the “extended period of eligibility.”

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    Unemployment Benefits Impact On Social Security

    While social security benefits might reduce your unemployment benefits , collecting unemployment compensation will never reduce your social security benefits. That’s because social security only counts wages as income when calculating benefits. Unemployment is not considered salary and, therefore, it is not counted.

    What Do Unemployment Benefits Affect

    Will Unemployment Benefits Affect My Social Security Benefits?

    First of all, unemployment benefits do affect your SSI. Technically, theres a limit on how much unearned income that you can receive while on Supplemental Security Income. However, your unemployment benefits do not count against the substantial gainful activity limit. So, as long as you stay beneath the limit of the unearned income limit, you shouldnt run into any problems. In order to ensure that you can keep both, make sure that you check any other sources of unearned income.

    While you may want unemployment benefits, you should note that by applying for unemployment benefits, you show that you want to work. However, with SSI, you show that there is something that limits you from working. So, you need to show these two sides working together. Maybe you want to seek an Employment Network and enroll in an SSI Ticket to Work program. You could have benefits from both unemployment and from SSI. You just need to make sure that they work together.

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    Will Illinois Louisiana Minnesota And South Dakota Change Uc Rules In The Near Future

    Yes, there is hope. Even now in Minnesota, the rules dont apply always. Which means that the state does not reduce UI benefit amounts in all cases where a claimant is receiving social security retirement benefits. Since the last few years, American Association of Retired Persons and National Employment Law Project have been working together to persuade the states to remove laws that limit UC benefits for individuals receiving social security.

    Whom should I approach if I have any questions?

    Irrespective of which state you are from, if you have any queries regarding anything with unemployment compensation, your states Unemployment Insurance Agency is where you need to go. Authorities present there will guide you through the process of filing for UI and will gladly clear your questions. You can also interact with them by phone on the dedicated customer service or you can connect with them online.

    Keep in mind that not declaring your income sources while filing for UI or not reporting any income you receive during subsequent weeks during which you receive benefits, may result in severe consequences.

    Things to keep in mind
    The bottom line

    As long as both agencies are notified about the income received from each other, there is no conflict in collecting UI and social security together. It is a sad truth that during difficult economic times, often millions of senior citizens are left unemployed and often social security benefits are not sufficient to cover the basic needs.

    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. In New York, the appeals process can take months and possibly years, and you may wind up needing to go in front of an administrative law judge 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 live in New York and 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.

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    How Does Social Security Affect Unemployment Benefits

    In hard economic times, more and more older people might seek to work past traditional retirement age. If they lose their jobs and do not have enough in the way of Social Security payments and other retirement income, they could try to collect unemployment benefits as a way to bolster their financial standing. For the most part, collecting both Social Security and unemployment is permissible.

    Canada Pension Plan Disability Benefits

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    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:

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    What Should I Do If I Want To Apply For Both Programs

    First and foremost, the essential rule in applying for either of these programs is to be honest. Under no circumstances should a claimant try to hide that they are actively pursuing financial assistance from both programs.

    The SSDI application process is complex, and only becomes more confusing when adding in a second benefit program. Seeking the assistance of an experienced Social Security Disability attorney is essential in these situations. If you have any doubt about how unemployment benefits impact your SSDI claim, you should contact a Disability lawyer or advocate immediately.

    Will Applying For Social Security Benefits Affect Unemployment

    While unemployment benefits will not affect Social Security payment amounts, unless the payments exceed the SSI maximum, the opposite is true under some circumstances. Funds received through one of Social Security benefit programs may end up reducing a persons unemployment benefits, depending on the state in which the recipient lives.

    Social Security benefits only affect unemployment benefit amounts in the following states: Illinois, Louisiana, Minnesota, and South Dakota .

    This wasnt always the case. In the early 2000s, 20 states and the District of Columbia had Social Security offset laws. States began repealing them in 2003 amid advocacy efforts on the issue. The most recent state to do so was Illinois, which repealed its offset law in 2015.

    Minnesota still has partial offset laws regarding Social Security and unemployment compensation. For residents who receive both benefits, Minnesota reduces unemployment insurance by half of your Social Security benefits. There are determining factors, such as when you started receiving disability payments and the length of time between filing for Social Security and filing for unemployment.

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    What Can You Do

    My general advice is: this is a tough choice, but don’t apply for Social Security Disability until you are within sight of your unemployment benefits running out. It usually will take about a year from application to hearing.

    Most important: don’t lie, don’t omit information, and be up front with both Social Security and your state employment agency. The last thing you need is to get a Social Security overpayment you have to repay, or worse, face possible criminal charges for lying. To read more about this situation, see our article on Collecting Unemployment While Waiting for Social Security.

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    Will Unemployment Affect My Social Security Benefits?

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    Other Retirement Payments Impact On Unemployment Compensation

    Income that is drawn from a qualified retirement plan, annuity, or IRA can reduce your unemployment compensation in many states. If you are taking distributions from your 401 plan or receive a pension every month, this amount may be used to offset your unemployment benefits.

    Youâll need to contact your stateâs unemployment office to find out what the rules are for where you live. In some states, your unemployment benefits may be reduced if you have a pension or retirement income. In other states, such as California, retirement income is exempted.

    It should also be noted that IRA contributions cannot be made from unemployment benefits, because it is not considered to be earned income by the IRS.

    Social Security Disability Vs Ssi

    What can cause your benefits to stop differs between the two separate disability benefit programs that are operated by the Social Security Administration , so let’s take a brief look at the two programs.

    Social Security Disability Insurance is based on an individual having paid enough in Social Security taxes to be eligible for benefits. Someone who has not worked long enough, or recent enough, to have sufficient “work credits” is not eligible for SSDI regardless of their disability.

    Supplemental Security Income is a needs-based program. It is not necessary to have paid Social Security taxes, or to have even worked, to be eligible for SSI. However, there are strict limits in the amount of income or assets that someone can have to qualify for SSI benefits.

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    Always Check With Your States Unemployment Office

    The rules that govern unemployment benefits vary by state, so be sure to check with your stateâs unemployment office if you have any questions. Because of the increased number of people eligible for unemployment benefits, call centers could be busy and you might find yourself on hold for a long time while trying to reach a representative by phone. You can save yourself some time by finding out if your state provides an email address or a live chat service to answer questions or by seeing if they have a list of Frequently Asked Questions on their website.

    Social Security Disability And Unemployment Benefit Requirements

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    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.

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    Eligibility Criteria For Unemployment Benefits

    If youâve lost your job for a reason that wasnât your fault, the foundational criteria for receiving unemployment benefits are fairly straightforward, although specific eligibility criteria does vary from state to state. Without question, you have to be willing and able to work and be actively seeking a job. If you are working a part-time job while seeking full-time employment, you can still usually get at least a partial weekly benefit. The number of hours that you work and the wage that you earn will determine how much in unemployment benefits you qualify for.

    Your work history also plays a major role in determining how much you will get each week and how many weeks youâll receive benefits. Applicants who have worked for many years at a high-paying job will likely qualify for more benefits than an applicant with a year of full-time work history.

    Recent legislation has also extended unemployment benefits to independent contractors, self-employed workers, and gig workers. This legislation has increased the pool of eligible candidates by several million claimants. There are some cases, in fact, whereby an applicant who would not have qualified for unemployment benefits before could now be eligible for benefits under the rules of the new legislation.

    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.

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