Can I Get Social Security Disability Benefits and Unemployment Benefits at the Same Time?

A largely unknown problem with applying for Social Security Administration (SSA) disability benefits while drawing unemployment benefits is the competing oaths claimants swear: for disability it is that they can’t work at all; for unemployment it is that they can work but can’t find a job.

It’s the old “are you lying now or were you lying then” challenge, and the SSA’s Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) will usually issue it. Moreover, no back pay will accumulate while the individual draws unemployment because, in the SSA’s opinion, drawing disability benefits for the same time period is double dipping, and it is not allowed.

The issue can sometimes be resolved by showing that the claimant was really disabled during the time frame in question or hoped against hope to find a job that they could do but eventually realized there were none.

This argument, however, is rarely successful with all SS ALJ’s, unfortunately, and they will probably make the claimant amend their alleged disability onset date to when they stopped drawing unemployment. The alleged disability onset date is the date the claimant says they were no longer able to work.

If the claimant is filing for the SSA’s Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB) and has a date last insured sometime prior to the amended alleged disability onset date, it would terminate the claim. The date last insured is the date the claimant has to prove they were disabled prior to. If they can’t, they are technically ineligible for DIB benefits despite what their current condition is.

The good news is that the claimant may still be eligible for the SSA’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit. If so, that benefit would start accumulating from the amended alleged disability onset date, rather than when it normally would at the date the disability claim was originally filed.

If you have a question regarding your social security claim, please feel free to contact us by email or by calling (256)539.9899.

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