Pregnancy And Maternity Leave
If you are disabled due to pregnancy, you may be entitled to up to 26 weeks of disability benefits.
You will need to submit a medical report completed by a doctor or certified nurse midwife stating your disability is due to pregnancy.
- The medical report should describe specific pregnancy complications if your disability
- started more than four weeks before the anticipated birth date OR
- lasts more than four to six weeks after the actual birth date.
Note: Benefits are not payable for any period you are unable to work due to elective surgery .
Consider Talking To A Lawyer
If you applied for full-time jobs while you were collecting unemployment or you applied for jobs that were more demanding than your physical and mental limitations allow for, it’s best to talk about this with a disability lawyer, especially if you are thinking about amending your onset date to after you stopped collecting unemployment benefits.
Applying For Disability While Collecting Unemployment
With the Coronavirus having a giant impact on the American and world economy, many new people are applying for unemployment. According to the Washington Post, already 3.3 new Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week.
With no end in sight, nobody is quite sure the ultimate impact the Coronavirus will have on job losses or the Unemployment numbers. This economic volatility has led to questions from current or perspective clients regarding whether they are actually able to apply for Social Security Disability benefits while receiving Unemployment at the same time. That question and further analysis will be discussed below.
In short, YES you can apply for Social Security Disability benefits while also receiving Unemployment. Although there have been legislative proposals to ban the receipt of Unemployment while applying for Disability, none have been passed.
Although the short answer is YES, the long answer is that it can be problematic to receive Unemployment while applying for Disability. With Unemployment, you are telling the state government that you are ready, willing, and able to work on a full-time basis.With Disability, you are telling the federal government that you are unable to maintain full-time employment for a minimum of 12 months due to an impairment or combination of impairments.
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Collecting Unemployment And Social Security Disability Benefits Simultaneously
Contrary to what you might think, it is possible to collect Social Security disability insurance and unemployment benefits at the same time. Of course, it is rather difficult to qualify for both of these benefits at the same time because the eligibility criteria are fundamentally at odds. To qualify for unemployment, you must be actively looking for a job. To qualify for a disability claim with SSDI, you must be permanently and totally disabled. Only a small handful of applicants can meet both of these criteria.
If you receive unemployment benefits, the Social Security Administration will take them into account when they examine your SSDI application. It is your responsibility to prove to the SSA that thereâs no conflict between the two benefits.
The same is true for Supplemental Security Income benefits, which are paid to disabled persons. While it is theoretically possible to receive this benefit alongside unemployment benefits, the criteria for the two programs are again largely at odds with each other. Unlike receiving Social Security retirement benefits and SSDI, receiving unemployment benefits may reduce your Supplemental Security Income benefit. Claimants should consult with a qualified disability attorney in either of these cases in order to ensure that they are following the rules and receiving every benefit that they qualify for.
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Can You Do Any Other Type Of Work
If you cant do the work you did in the past, we look to see if there is other work you could do despite your medical impairment.
We consider your medical conditions, age, education, past work experience, and any transferable skills you may have. If you cant do other work, well decide you are disabled. If you can do other work, well decide that you dont have a qualifying disability and your claim will be denied.
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Medical Requirements For Disability
To qualify for disability benefits under either SSDI or SSI you must meet all of the following requirements:
- You must suffer from a disability that is classified as severe. It must substantially limit your ability to perform basic activities required at most jobs such as standing, sitting, and remembering and
- Your condition must have persisted, or be expected to persist, for at least a year and
- Your condition must either meet the requirements of a Social Security impairment listing as published by the Social Security Administration, or render it impossible for you to either return to any of your previous occupations or work in a less demanding job.
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How Much Does Disability Pay Each Month
The payment disability claimants receive depends on which Social Security program they qualify for. The Federal Social Security Disability Insurance Program pays benefits based on your average lifetime earnings. The Federal Supplemental Security Income program pays benefits based on the SSI Federal benefit rate less any countable income you may have.
The AIME determines your monthly benefit amount. Generally speaking, the more you have in qualified earnings, the more your benefit will be. The max monthly payment for SSDI in 2021 is $3,148.
Maximum Federal Supplemental Security Income payment amounts increase with the cost-of-living increases that apply to Social Security benefits. The latest such increase, 1.3 percent, became effective January 2021. For 2021, the maximum benefit is $794 monthly for individuals, and $1,191 for eligible couples.
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Can I Apply For Unemployment & Long Term Disability
COVID-19 has impacted all areas of our lives, including our employment opportunities. Millions of people are out of work because of coronavirus-related issues. Some individuals developed the virus and could not work for an extended period. Other individuals have lost their jobs because of the pandemic. The unemployment rate in the United States increased from 3.8 percent in February to 13 percent in May. Over 14 million people were out of work.
Many people filed for unemployment. However, some individuals who became ill might have applied for disability benefits. Unfortunately, applying for unemployment benefits and long-term disability benefits at the same time could result in both applications being denied.
Benefits For Disabled Widows Or Widowers
If something happens to a worker, benefits may be payable to their widow, widower, or surviving divorced spouse with a disability if the following conditions are met:
- The widow, widower, or surviving divorced spouse is between ages 50 and 60.
- The widow, widower, or surviving divorced spouse has a medical condition that meets the definition of disability for adults and the disability started before or within seven years of the workers death.
Widows, widowers, and surviving divorced spouses cannot apply online for survivors benefits. However, if they want to apply for these benefits, they should contact Social Security immediately at 1-800-772-1213 to request an appointment
To speed up the application process, complete an Adult Disability Report and have it available at the time of your appointment.
We use the same definition of disability for widows and widowers as we do for workers.
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How Long Will I Receive Sdi
You will receive SDI benefits for as long as you remain disabled, as defined, up to a maximum of 52 weeks. However, in some cases a person who is otherwise qualified might not receive a full year of SDI because they do not have enough money in their account for a full year of benefits. You will receive a statement from the EDD when you apply telling you how much money is in your reserve account.
Are There Exceptions To The Rule
As with most things, there are certain exceptions to the rule. For example, an individual might have lost their job and be receiving unemployment benefits, and then become disabled. These individuals might continue to collect unemployment while applying for disability benefits. In other unique circumstances, an individual over the age of fifty might have a disability that prevents them from keeping their previous job, and yet may still be capable of performing other work for which they have not been trained.
Still, these circumstances are rare. In fact, a 2012 report from the Government Accountability Office showed that fewer than one percent of SSDI beneficiaries also receive unemployment insurance benefits at the same time.
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Not Letting Your Medical Provider Know Youre Applying For Sdi
Many people do not tell their medical providers about their plans to apply for State Disability Insurance . This can be a mistake, because SDI relies on your medical provider to let them know how serious your condition is, and how long it might last. Before applying, its good to talk with your medical provider about your SDI application and your condition, how your condition affects your day-to-day life, and how long it might last. If the medical report sent to the SDI is inaccurate or incomplete, you might get turned down for benefits, or get them for a shorter period of time than you need them.
Can I Collect Unemployment If I Am Terminated While On Disability
If you are terminated while on disability, you may be able to collect unemployment. However, as long as you are unable to perform your job duties, you will be unable to collect unemployment benefits. All 50 states have the same requirements for a person to be eligible for unemployment compensation. First, the individual must be physically able to work. Second, the person must available for duty. Third, the person must be actively interviewing for jobs.
In most cases, those who are terminated from employment while out on short term disability will be able to go on and receive unemployment benefits. This is because they are likely to recover from their disabling condition sooner rather than later and, therefore, be able to perform their job duties. Those who are terminated while on long term disability, however, may remain unable to work. Because of this inability to retain substantially gainful employment due to disability, a person would be unable to collect unemployment.
Should you be terminated while on disability and be eligible for unemployment benefits, you should file for these benefits as soon as you recover. Because the amount of wages you earned in the year you seek to collect benefits may be affected by your disability leave, you may be able to use an alternate base year. The alternate base year set by your date of disability will allow you to qualify for unemployment benefits based on what you made in a normal year that was not affected by your disability.
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Can You File For Unemployment While Waiting For Social Security Disability
You are facing a dilemma when you have been let go from your job because you can no longer perform that type of work given your disability. Maybe you called out too many times for doctors appointments, or you are not able to lift or perform many of the required tasks for your position. You then decide to apply for Social Security Disability benefits and you find out that it could take 90 days or more to hear whether you are approved, and even if you do get approved it might be six months or more until you begin receiving benefits. You give some thought to applying for unemployment benefits to hold you over while you wait to hear about your SSD claim, but is that allowed?
Can You Really Have It Both Ways
The federal-state unemployment insurance program provides cash benefits to eligible workers. While state law determines eligibility for unemployment benefits, generally you must be unemployed through no fault of your own. In most states, you will have to represent that you are able to work, be available for work, and be willing to accept a suitable job offer. In Florida, the eligible worker can look for part-time work while drawing unemployment benefits.
If you meet the Social Security definition of disability, you are entitled to disability benefits and medical coverage under one of several programs. Disability is defined for Social Security purposes as the inability to work because of a physical or mental impairment that is either expected to result in death, or has lasted or is expected to last for a continuous period of at least 12 months.
Often, when a client comes to me* for representation in a disability case after having been denied at the initial levels, I find that they have been collecting unemployment for at least a limited time.
There is an obvious tension and contradiction between the requirements for unemployment benefits and Social Security disability .
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How To Apply For Both Programs
If you are eligible to receive both unemployment compensation and Social Security, then you will need to apply separately for each benefit in the same manner as you would if you were only applying for one of them.
Unemployment insurance is administered at the state level and each state has different rules and processes. The Department of Labor provides contact information and websites for all state unemployment insurance agencies. You should refer to your states website for the most up-to-date information about how to apply for unemployment benefits.
Social Security, on the other hand, is a federally funded program operated by the U.S. Social Security Administration. The fastest way to complete your application for Social Security benefits is to do so online.
Keep in mind that you donât have to wait to begin receiving one benefit before filing for the other. You can file for both benefits at the same time. Also, remember that because each benefit is provided by a different agency, the time frame for receiving payments after you file will vary.
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What Can You Do
My general advice is: this is a tough choice, but don’t apply for Social Security Disability until you are within sight of your unemployment benefits running out. It usually will take about a year from application to hearing.
Most important: don’t lie, don’t omit information, and be up front with both Social Security and your state employment agency. The last thing you need is to get a Social Security overpayment you have to repay, or worse, face possible criminal charges for lying. To read more about this situation, see our article on Collecting Unemployment While Waiting for Social Security.
Financial Requirements For Social Security Disability
The SSA imposes different financial requirements on eligibility for SSDI and SSI:
- You must meet certain standards concerning your work history. A 55-year old, for example, must have worked at least eight years during his working lifetime, five of which must have been during the last ten years. These standards vary according to age.
- To be eligible for SSDI, you must not be involved in substantial gainful activity, which means that you are not eligible for disability benefits if you earn at least $1,220 per month .
- To become eligible for SSI you dont need any work history, but you must meet very low family asset and income maximums.
Can I Receive Benefits If My Employer Is Going To Pay Me Vacation Sick Or Holiday Pay During My Claim
Vacation Pay: Yes, you can receive Disability Insurance benefits at the same time.
Sick Pay: You cannot receive DI benefits for any period that you also receive sick leave wages that are equal to your full salary. If you receive only partial sick leave wages, you may be eligible for full or partial DI benefits. The first seven days of your DI claim is a non-payable waiting period. Any type of wages paid by the employer during the waiting period do not conflict with DI benefits.
Other Pay: All other pay, including holiday pay, must be reported to confirm your eligibility. The first seven days of your DI claim is a non-payable waiting period. Any type of wages paid by the employer during the waiting period do not conflict with DI benefits.
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Can You Collect Unemployment Benefits While Waiting For Disability Is This A Conflict
When I asked my clients about the apparent discrepancy, they would tell me that something like: “I want to work and am willing to try to work, and if I could get a job I would work hard to perform it. I dont know if my medical condition would allow me to perform reliably, but I would certainly try.”
Social Securitys stated policy is to encourage people with disabilities to return to work, and I personally do not see a huge inconsistency in a claimant who is applying for both unemployment and SSDI.
But Social Security tends to view things in an either-or fashion. You are disabled or you are not, and there seems to be no middle ground.
Some judges take the position that if you say you are ready, willing and able to work, then by definition, you are not disabled.
Apparently, if you accept unemployment compensation and sign your name to a statement that asserts that you can work, then you must not be disabled.
Of course, you dont automatically receive disability benefits if you do not apply for unemployment and sign a statement that you are not able to work.
And there remains no answer to the question of how you can feed and house yourself and your family during the time that Social Security takes to decide whether you are disabled.