Social Security Disability benefits and unemployment compensation

The question often arises whether someone who has applied for Social Security disability and SSI benefits can also apply for unemployment compensation. The simple answer is yes. There is nothing illegal about applying for those benefits. In order to obtain unemployment benefits, there is a requirement to look for work. In the past, this has been able to be accomplished online and by phone call without filing proof. That may change. In order to be eligible for unemployment benefits, you have to be ready, willing and able to work.

However, many judges do not believe they are compatible. They believe that if you are looking for work you were not truly disabled. Thus, it can work against you by obtaining these benefits. I have tried to argue that there are a number of reasons a person may obtain these benefits. The person may be willing to try to work even though they suspect they will fail. I do not think the judges are persuaded. I also argue that one when one is faced with eviction, foreclosure or the like, one is going to pursue any legal benefits they can to survive. I think that is also a very strong argument, but it does not seem to persuade judges.

The bottom line in my mind is that these benefits are available legally. They can help pay your rent, food and the like. When asked by clients, I tell them that if they need the benefit they should pursue it. I let them know the downside, but I think the upside is greater than the downside. That is to say, there is more potential good than potential bad in accepting unemployment benefits.

If you want to apply for unemployment and have a chance to talk with me, that would be a good thing to do. If you have already accepted unemployment benefits, I would keep getting them until we have had a chance to talk.

Social Security Disability benefits and unemployment compensation