Social Security Disability and SSI Questions and Answers
What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?
How do you Win Benefits under Social Security Disability or SSI?
If I am determined disabled, how far back will Social Security pay benefits?
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition?
What Can I Do to Improve My Chances of Winning Disability Benefits
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Denial of Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits
How to File for Disability - Tips for Filing
If You Get Approved For SSDI Will You Also Get Medicare?
How much does a Social Security disability attorney get paid?
Social Security Disability SSI Criteria and the Evaluation Process
How long does it take to be approved for SSI or Social Security disability?
What do you Need to Prove to Qualify for Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability SSI and Fibromyalgia
Social Security Disability SSI and Degenerative Disc Disease
Can I Qualify For Disability and Receive Benefits based on Depression?
More questions about SSD and SSI
What Disabilities Qualify for SSI and Social Security Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability Status
Social Security Disability Tips — how a claim gets worked on
Social Security Disability, SSI Disability - Terms, Definitions, Concepts
Can I Collect Unemployment While I File For Disability Benefits (SSD or SSI)?
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
Most Social Security claims representatives (also known as a CR, this is the employee at a social security office who takes disability and retirement applications) now advise disability applicants of a potential conflict of interest with regard to filing for disability benefits while collecting unemployment benefits.
If you apply for disability with the Social Security Administration you are alleging that not only are you unable to do any of your past work, but you are not able to perform any other kind of substantial work activity as well.
Each year Social Security sets a monthly earnings amount that it considers substantial gainful activity or self-supporting (i.e. a limit on how much you can make before you are no longer considered disabled). Social Security only cares about your earnings; therefore collecting unemployment benefits is not a problem for them.
The Employment Security Commission, however, does have a problem with individuals who collect unemployment benefits while filing for disability. When an individual files for unemployment benefits, they state they are able and ready to work if they can find a job. Logically, an individual cannot be totally disabled from all types of work and yet be able and ready to work at the same time.
Many Social Security representatives are documenting that they have explained the conflict of interest in collecting unemployment to an applicant while filing for disability with Social Security. Claim Representatives are also documenting that they explained possible consequences to the disability applicant should the Employment Security Commission become aware of their disability application.
Disability applicants may be required to repay all unemployment benefits received since they filed their disability claim, while others could find themselves in legal trouble.
It is understandable that people want to have an income while they await a their disability decision. It can take time to be approved for disability benefits and it is a fact of life that people need to pay their bills. So, many disability applicants feel they have no other choice other than taking a chance of being caught. It is a risk that many are willing to take. And, while the majority of people are never caught, the few who are caught may suffer devastating consequences.
Return to: Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions