Topic Categories:

Social Security Disability Definitions

Social Security Disability and SSI Overview

The Requirements for Disability

Social Security Disability and SSI Applications

Tips and Advice for Disability Claims

How long does Disability take?

Common Mistakes after Receiving a Disability Denial

Disability Denials and Filing Appeals

Social Security Mental Disability Benefits

Disability Benefits offered through Social Security

Benefits through SSI disability

Disability Benefits for Children

Disability Qualifications and How to Qualify

Social Security Disability and Working

Winning your Disability Benefits

Social Security Back Pay and the disability award notice

Disability Lawyers and Hiring an Attorney

Social Security Disability SSI List of Conditions

What is considered a Disabling condition by Social Security?

Social Security Disability SSI and Medical Evidence

Filing for Disability Benefits

Eligibility for Disability Benefits

SSDRC authored by

Ask a question, get an answer

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

Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions

Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The Disability Decision Process and What gets taken into Consideration | Getting Denied for Disability Benefits | Questions about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | Social Security Disability Hearings | Social Security Medical Examinations | Social Security SSI Doctors | Social Security Disability Representation | Social Security Disability SSI Reviews