I have been laid off work and I'm currently collecting unemployment. Can I collect Social Security also?
Estate Planning Attorney
It is not clear whether you are asking about Social Security disability or Social Security retirement benefits.
Concerning retirement benefits, here is what Social Security has to say:
"Unemployment Insurance benefits are not counted under the Social Security annual earnings test and so do not affect your receipt of Social Security benefits. However, the unemployment benefit amount of an individual may be reduced by the receipt of a pension or other retirement income, including Social Security and Railroad Retirement benefits.
You may wish to contact your state unemployment office for information on how your state applies the reduction."
Receiving unemployment benefits can be a problem if you have a claim for Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) because an individual is making two inconsistent statements:
1) To get unemployment benefits, an individual claims that they are able to work, but cannot find a job.
2) To get Social Security disability benefits, an individual claims that they cannot perform any type of work at a substantial gainful activity level (generally full time work).
It is possible to get both unemployment and Social Security disability benefits because of the different standard of work required under unemployment vs Social Security disability. BUT, trying to get both may turn off Social Security and hurt an individual's chances of winning their case.
See my article (link 2) for more information.