Social Security Administration Disability and Unemployment Benefits
How does unemployment affect my disability application?
Many claimants are receiving unemployment benefits and want to know if they can also file for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). If you are receiving unemployment benefits when you file for Social Security Disability Insurance this can be a problem. Consider the issues:
- Unemployment benefits are paid to claimants who claim they are able to work but cannot find a job.
- Disability benefits (including Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income) are paid to claimants who have a disabling health condition that is so severe that they are unable to perform substantial gainful activity.
Do you see the issue? Either you are disabled and unable to perform substantial gainful activity and it is time to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income or you are able to work and cannot find a job.
Can I get Unemployment and apply for Social Security Disability Insurance?
Claimants can apply for Social Security Disability Insurance while they are receiving unemployment benefits. In fact, the Social Security Administration has issued a statement,
The receipt of unemployment insurance benefits does not preclude the receipt of Social Security disability benefits. The receipt of unemployment benefits is only one of many factors that must be considered in determining whether a claimant is disabled. Therefore, it is Social Security Administrations position that individuals need not choose between applying for unemployment insurance and Social Security disability benefits. However, application for unemployment benefits is evidence that the Administrative Law Judge must consider together with all of the medical and other evidence.
So to answer your question, receiving unemployment benefits will not prevent the Administrative Law Judge from awarding Social Security Disability benefits, but it will be one of many factors that a judge will consider.
Another issues (which is more likely) is that a claimant may apply when they are receiving unemployment benefits, but by the time they apply and they are denied multiple times and finally have their Social Security Administration hearing, their unemployment benefits may have ended and this will not be an issue.
Why does it take so long to get Disability Benefits?
Claimants who have applied for either Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income often wonder why the process is so long. There has been a substantial increase in SSDI and SSI applicants in the last few years, especially as the unemployment rate has soared. Last year alone there were over 2 million disability applicants.
Obviously, not all of these claimants meet even the basic requirements of the Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income program but their applications can clog the system and increase the wait time for legitimate disability claims.
Before you apply for either Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income, make sure you understand the process and what you need to prove to win benefits.
Many Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income claimants can also get help from a disability lawyer. Contact a lawyer if you have questions or need information about what should be in your disability application to ensure you are approved for benefits the first time you apply.
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