Circumstances may arise in one’s life in which an individual becomes disabled and thereby unable to work. The process of applying for Social Security disability (SSDI) benefits can sometimes be a long one, particularly if the initial application is rejected and the appeals process needs to be undergone. While waiting for an SSDI hearing, it may be tempting to collect unemployment so there is at least some kind of income in the household. Is this possible, or even legal?
There is no reason why a person couldn’t apply for, and even win, unemployment benefits while also waiting to hear back from an appeal to the Social Security Administration. This primarily because the Federal-State Unemployment Insurance Program and the Social Security program are completely different entities. They operate completely separately and therefore the applying to and earning of one does not directly influence the other.
That being said, there is a major caveat to applying for and collecting from both programs that may jeopardize the SSDI hearing. Collecting unemployment benefits means, as per the conditions of the program, that the individual in question is able and willing to work, but has thus far been unsuccessful in finding a job. Conversely, in order to claim SSDI benefits, one must be disabled to be point of being unable to work, even if a job could be found.
These two notions conflict with each other and therefore, although it is possible to win unemployment, doing so many minimize one’s chances of winning an SSDI application or appeal. The most prudent thing to do is to weigh out which benefit is worth more and compare it against one’s circumstances. In some cases, benefits can be won from either immediately or soon and therefore it is a good idea to consult the advice of an attorney as well.
At the Franco Law Firm, we have experience in helping others obtain the right benefits through SSDI and other programs that best suit their needs and interests. To learn more about how we can assist you as well, please feel free to call us at (813) 872-0929.