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Can I legaly receive unemployment while waiting for social security disability?

Sierra Vista, AZ |

I recieve unemployment. But I have filed for disability because I can no longer work like I did before. I do work but I'm very limited on what I can do. I only work aprox 10 hrs a month.

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Attorney answers 3


Yes, application for and receipt of unemployment benefits is allowed when applying for Social Security disability benefits. Social Security will look at the unemployment benefits situation when deciding a case, but under circumstances like you describe - when an individual is able to do part-time work only the receipt of both benefits is not precluded. If you state has an unemployment benefits application that allows you to select that you are available for part-time work only, it would be a good a idea to indicate that on the application (this may change your unemployment benefit amount.) Also your state may have a provision where it tries to collect back any unemployment benefits paid for any month for which you also receive Social Security disability, though if it does try to do this it may difficult for the state to collect the money from you as your disability benefits likely will not be subject to garnishment by the state.

Disclaimer Information on this site is provided by Brian Scott Wayson as general information, not legal advice, and use of this information does not establish an attorney-client relationship. If you have questions about your specific situation, please call an attorney.


I would only add to my esteemed colleague's answer that some Social Security Judges will not award disability for the period of time you are on Unemployment on the theory you cannot say you disabled for Social Security and at the same time say you are able to work for Unemployment.

This response is meant to be information only and should not be considered to be legal advice. This information is not meant and should not be construed to be the formation of an attorney client relationship. I practice Virginia Workers compensation law and Social Security Disability law.


As far as SSI or SSDI claims, collecting unemployment does not automatically disqualify you from collecting Social Security Disability. However, if you go to a hearing, the judge may use the fact that you stated to unemployment that you are ready, willing, and able to work as a factor to deny your claim. Of course any money you collect from unemployment could reduce, or depending upon the amount, eliminate your disability benefits for the months you get unemployment.

The Chief ALJ for Social Security has sent a memorandum to all ALJs reminding them that you can not be denied solely because you collected unemployment benefits. However, collecting benefits may be used to deny benefits if it is supported by other evidence that you are not disabled.

Actual legal advice can only be provided by an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction, with experience in the area of law regarding your question. The information provided is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice.

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