Can You Get Social Security Disability & Unemployment Compensation at the same time?
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Posted: Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Law Office of Jerry Lutkenhaus
There appears to be a conflict between Social Security Disability and Unemployment Compensation. In order to get Social Security Disability, you have to claim you are "disabled" for any work. However, to obtain Unemployment Compensation you have to claim you are "able and available" for work.
The November 15, 2006 Memorandum from Chief Judge Frank Cristaudo.
What about the claimant who meets SSA's definition for disability?
Some sharp Social Security practitioners have argued a person who is over 50 who had a past work background of manual labor (which the person can no longer perform) is "disabled" under SSDI Rules if he or she is now limited to sedentary work. Thus, this type of person could also qualify for Unemployment Compensation since he or she could still work.
What about the claimant who is limited to part-time work?
A person who is limited to part time work "is ready and willing to work," but cannot work full-time and thus could theoretically qualify for Social Security Disability. If you cannot do full time work, then you can be found disabled under SS Rules (a person will be found disabled if he or she cannot perform sustained activity 8 hours per day, 5 days a week - Social Security Ruling 96-8p). Since he or she could look for part-time work, the person may be able to also qualify for UC.
Each State has its own eligibility rules for receipt of unemployment compensation.
Unlike SS, each State administers a separate unemployment insurance program within guidelines set by Federal law. Unemployment benefits are usually for people who have lost their job through no fault of their own under State law. So each state maintains its own criteria for the receipt of Unemployment Compensation. Some states were reducing their UC if the claimant received SS Disability. The claimant has to check the rules in his or her state. For example, the state of Virginia will reduce the claimant's UC up to 50% due to receipt of SS Disability benefits as stated in Virginia Code 60.2-604.
The inconsistency in saying I am "fit and able to work" to the Unemployment agency and saying "I am disabled" to Social Security.
Many Social Security Judges that I appear in front of will automatically disqualify a claimant who has been on Unemployment Compensation. They will assert the claimants who are receiving unemployment compensation are simply "not credible" when they also apply for disability. These judges may simply be misinformed in light of the above memo by the Chief Social Security Judge.
In light of the above one can safely say the following: (1) Social Security should not prohibit you from filing for disability benefits just because you receive unemployment compensation; (2) a Social Judge is not supposed to deny your claim based "solely" on the fact you receive unemployment compensation; (3) a Social Security Judge may use your receipt of unemployment compensation as one of the factors in denying your claim; and (4) your Unemployment Compensation agency in your state may reduce your unemployment benefits if you receive Social Security Disability benefits.
Copyright by Gerald Lutkenhaus 2010
Jerry Lutkenhaus is a practitioner of Social Security Disability law in the Richmond, Virginia area for over 30 years. He was given an "AV" rating by Martindale Hubbell in 2003. Lexis Nexis listed him in the 2005 Bar Register of Preeminent Attorneys. He also has a superb rating from AVVO. For more information, see http://www.geraldlutkenhaus.com and http://www.virginiadisabilitylawyer.com You can call Jerry Lutkenhaus now at 804-358-4766 for a free consultation about your disability case.
This Article has been viewed 1,784 times. (Not updated in real-time.)Top-level comments on this article: (1 total)
» left by Kurt H. from Phoenix 1 year 132 days ago.
What about people such as myself who are making work attempts on the Federal Ticket to Work and under circumstances beyond our control are found without work? We are to be systemically and fiscally penalized and brutalized once again?