i was off of work due to a disability, and receiving short term disability from a private company. my employer terminated me so i applied for unemployment compensation. i cant physically fulfill my prior duties at my prior job, but i can in another career field. can i legally collect both the short term disability and unemployment compensation payments?
Workers' Compensation Lawyer
It is legal to receive UE benefits so long as you are actively seeking work which you have the skill and phisical ability to perform.
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Charles is correct but most short term disability Programs either prohibit the receipt of both benefits or offset the UC benefit (subtract the UC from the the STD). Long term disability Programs will offset the UC unless privately purchased. If privately purchased, the LTD policy may not offset the UC benefit.
Workers' Compensation Lawyer
In California, when you request Unemployment Insurance, you declare UNDER PENALTY OF PERJURY (i.e., jail time if you're lying!!) you are physically able to accept all reasonable offers of work.
When you request Short Term Disability insurance, you are declaring you cannot do any work.
So it can be CRIMINAL FRAUD to tell the State you CAN work, then tell the Insurer you CANNOT work.
If you made crystal-clear to the Short-Term Disability Insurer on the Application for Benefits that you CAN work you just can't do all pre-injury duties, and they accepted the claim, then you would not be guilty of criminal fraud.
But in California, Unemployment would deduct all the sums you get from ShortTerm Disabillty payments from the unemployment check.
My brother is in Pittsburgh and each time I've called Pittsburgh employment officials, they've been pretty clear on what you can and can't get under Pennsylvania statutes. I'd start with a call there.
Don't let Nancy alarm you. It is not necessarily inconsistent (or fraudulent) to collect UC and STD at the same time.
You do certify that you are ready and available for work when you collect UC. The big question is the definiition of disabiliity contained in the STD plan. If the definition is the inability to perform your customary and usual employment (the defiitiion seen most often), then you can potentially collect both provided that your customary and usual position is not a simple (one or two step process), sedentary (sit down) job. If you can't do that kind of job, you are most likely totally disabled and unavailable for work.
But, for example, if you are disabled from your regular job as a construction laborer (heavy duty) and can work at a light duty job (e.g. ticket taker), then you can collect both benefits. It does not matter that you have never done such work before. YOu just have to be able and availabel to do it.