This is always a tricky area. Often Administrative Law Judges ask people if they have collected unemployment, and then look unfavorably on them if they say yes. The problem is, you are telling Social Security that you are too disabled to work for at least a year, and you are telling unemployment that you are ready, willing and able to work, and that you are looking for a job. See the catch here? This effects the determination a judge must do to discuss a person's credibility. My advise to my clients is not to apply/collect unemployment if at all possible. Often people can get temporary disability instead of unemployment. In New York, it is mandated that all employers carry this for their employees for 26 weeks. Check with an attorney in Arizona about this.