Before finding out whether or not you can request both unemployment and disability at the same time, let’s check out the meaning of disability and unemployment benefit.
Unemployment benefitUnemployment benefit means an employable person who is currently unemployed will get a stipend while he/she is searching for a new job. To get the benefit you’ve to prove that you’re currently seeking work. Although the amount is small, it’ll help you to cover the necessary costs while you’re searching for a new job. Depending on the jurisdiction of your state, it’s also known as unemployment insurance or unemployment compensation.
Disability benefitYou will receive disability benefits when you’re no longer able to carry out a “substantial gainful activity" due to physical or mental illness. Generally, disability benefits are paid and covered by a government agency named Social Security Administration. It offers disability benefits through two programs - (a) Social Security Disability Insurance program (SSDI) and (b) Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. Check out: 3 Reasons why you need disability insurance I hope, now you can differentiate between unemployment and disability benefits. Okay, let’s focus on something else. If you are filing for disability benefit while accumulating your unemployment assistance, you’re claiming two different things:
- You’re saying you’re unable to perform any substantial gainful activity due to physical or mental disability, and
- You’re saying you’re able to work and searching for a job that suits your skills.
When can you APPLY for unemployment and disability?If you think you can work, or you’re able to manage a part-time job, which gives you less than $1,000 per month as your earning, then it makes sense to apply for both Social Security Disability and unemployment benefits. In doing so, you’re stating that you’re unable to work full time and obtain substantial gainful employment due to your disability. Whereas, you need unemployment benefits to compensate for your unemployment as long as you search for other job alternatives. In some states, you’ve to be willing to work full time to get the unemployment benefits. Applying for Social Security Disability benefit states that you can’t perform full-time work. But, if you seek unemployment benefits due to your disability to work and if the unemployment benefit provider finds out that, you’ll be charged with disability fraud and have to pay back the benefits.
When can you RECEIVE unemployment and disability?There are some situations where you’re eligible to get unemployment benefits while already receiving the Social Security Disability benefits. If you are already collecting the disability benefit, the Social Security Administration allows you to re-enter into the workforce through a nine-month “trial work.” Here you can earn more than $1,000 per month without sacrificing your Social Security Disability benefits. If you find a job and can stick there for 6 months, you’re entitled to get the Social Security Disability benefits as well as qualify for unemployment benefits.
Outcome: Honesty is the best policyFinally, whether or not you can apply for unemployment and disability benefits at the same time depends on the laws of your state. It’s best to reveal all the facts when you’re applying for both unemployment and disability benefits. If you are eligible to get both the benefits, you’ll have no trouble receiving them. But, hiding the truth to get the both unemployment and disability benefits at the same time will make the matter worse for you. If you don’t get both the benefits at the same time, you must stick to the one that you need more. Read more: 5 Disability insurance myths busted