April 21, 2010
Unemployment Benefits & Social Security Disability Benefits
Is it a problem if I am receiving unemployment benefits and I am trying to get Social Security disability benefits?
Indiana disability applicants often ask Attorney Scott D. Lewis if receiving unemployment insurance benefits will be frowned upon by the Social Security Administration (SSA) when attempting to receive Social Security disability benefits. In his opinion, this “may” create a problem. He believes that when a disability claimant is collecting unemployment, but is applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, the disability claimant is making two inconsistent statements. First, by collecting unemployment insurance benefits the person is saying that they are able to work. On the other hand, by applying for disability benefits the claimant is saying they are unable to work.
The SSA states that receiving unemployment insurance benefits do not preclude a person from receiving Social Security disability benefits. Although, the SSA goes on to add receiving unemployment benefits can be one of many factors considered in determining if an individual is disabled.
In Social Security Disability Attorney Scott D. Lewis’ experience, Administrative Law Judges (ALJ’s) often question his clients as to why they are making these too very different statements. Typically, the judge has the record of the disability claimant’s earnings including unemployment at his or her fingertips during the hearing and may raise an eyebrow when confronted with this issue. One way to combat this potential disability dilemma is to attempt to amend the disability onset date to sometime after the unemployment payments have stopped. This may help the ALJ give you a favorable ruling in your appeal. In these tough economic times, a disability claimant can only hope an Indiana Administrative Law Judge may be sympathetic in that many individuals feel they may starve without these much needed unemployment funds.
In summary, while receiving unemployment benefits will not automatically disqualify a disability claimant from receiving Social Security disability benefits, it may be used to find your Social Security disability benefits claim denied. In Scott D. Lewis’ law practice, he finds it helpful if the client keeps him advised as to any compensation they may be receiving while their claim is pending in order to adequately provide good legal representation.
If you are unable to work due to a disability such as multiple sclerosis, heart problems, bipolar disorder or any other impairment and need the advice of a Social Security Disability Lawyer contact the law office of Scott D. Lewis today for a free consultation at (317) 423-8888.