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My question is: Can I collect disability AND unemployment benefits (Non SSI) at the same time?

Oswego, IL |

I am 51 yrs old and have worked as a special education teacher for the last 25 years. I recently was forced to resign from a school I worked at for 12 years due to personal conflicts with an administrator. At the same time I had been struggling with a back issue for which I finally had the time to address. While getting unemployment benefits, the last 8 months , I have had to get 2 surgeries on my lumbar spine and just now qualified for temporary disability benefits through " The Teachers Retirement System"- my retirement program. My ability to work has definitely gone downhill! I cannot reach anyone on the phone at the unemployment office and don't want to get into trouble. Do you k now how to help me? Or even who would be the right agency to call and ask. Thank you!!

Attorney Answers 1


Generally speaking, in order to continue to collect unemployment benefits, you must certify that you are able and willing to accept full time employment, should it be offered to you. If you are on temporary disability and unable to certify that you could accept full time employment, you would not remain eligible for unemployment benefits. Similarly, in order to continue to collect disability benefits, the disability policy usually requires you to be totally disabled, or unable to work in any capacity. It is possible that you could be partially disabled and only receiving a benefit for partial disability, but it depends on what your disability policy requires and what type of disability benefit you are receiving. I would suggest that you make absolutely sure what benefits you are eligible for through your teachers retirement programs, be it temporary disability or permanent disability retirement benefits, and determine whether you will be able to return to work after your back surgeries. If you are already receiving your temporary disability benefits, you will need to report those benefits to your local workforce development or unemployment office.

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Thank you very much for responding. Your answer was very helpful and clear!

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