Faq About Disability Benefits And Unemployment
When it comes to disability benefits and unemployment, these two kinds of payments may seem inherently at odds with each other. After all, to qualify for disability payments, you must have a demonstrated condition that prevents you from working. At the same time, in order to obtain unemployment, you must generally meet the condition of being actively engaged in seeking full-time work.
In many situations, you wont be able to qualify for both disability payments and unemployment benefits at the same time. But there are specific circumstances under which beneficiaries may be entitled to bothand that can mean the difference between staying afloat or continuing to struggle in these tough economic times. Read on to find out if you may be eligible for one or both of these forms of aid with the help of a Social Security disability lawyer.
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.
How To File For Unemployment
Eligibility for unemployment, the length of time one can receive unemployment, and the total amount of benefits received, vary state by state. The amount you will receive also depends on how much you earned at your former job.
You need to open a claim to apply for and begin collecting unemployment. For more information, check your state unemployment office website for information on what’s required to file a claim in your state.
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Other Retirement Payments Impact On Unemployment Compensation
Income that is drawn from a qualified retirement plan, annuity, or IRA can reduce your unemployment compensation in many states. If you are taking distributions from your 401 plan or receive a pension every month, this amount may be used to offset your unemployment benefits.
Youâll need to contact your stateâs unemployment office to find out what the rules are for where you live. In some states, your unemployment benefits may be reduced if you have a pension or retirement income. In other states, such as California, retirement income is exempted.
It should also be noted that IRA contributions cannot be made from unemployment benefits, because it is not considered to be earned income by the IRS.
Can Receiving Unemployment Benefits Affect My Ssi Or Ssdi Benefits
This is not a simple question, since not all Social Security disability benefits are equal. Since SSDI benefits are separate from SSI with different eligibility requirements, they are not equally affected by unemployment earnings.
If you are currently receiving SSDI and apply for unemployment, your SSDI benefits will not be affected. The Social Security Administration classifies Unemployment Compensation benefits as “Unearned Income.” As the individual receiving these benefits is generally not working, the payments do not affect SSDI benefits.
However, unemployment compensation will affect earnings from SSI payments. As unearned income, unemployment benefit payments reduce SSI dollar for dollar . Since the current 2021SSI federal monthly payment maximum is $794.00, anyone receiving unemployment benefits over $814.00 will be ineligible for SSI due to excess income.
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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.
What Is Social Security
Social Security is one of the most widely used benefits the federal government offers. Each month, the SSA pays out benefits to nearly 70 million eligible citizens. Most of these payments are for seniors who have reached retirement age and no longer work, though a significant number of program participants are spouses and survivors of enrollees who have passed away, or U.S. citizens whose disabilities make them unable to work. The program interacts in some way with over 170 million Americans, most of whom are either currently enrolled or eligible for future participation.
Social Security benefits are funded through payroll withholding taxes. Each pay period, 6.5% of a worker’s gross pay comes out to fund their eventual Social Security benefit. Employers pay an additional 6.5%, with self-employed workers required to pay the full 13% as a flat tax. Workers become eligible for a monthly payment when they earn 40 work credits over a working life of at least 10 years, with the benefit amount set by law. Work eligibility requirements are relaxed for younger adults who develop a disability before age 65.
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Does It Matter Where I Live
Because the Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income programs are run by the federal government the law, the issues and the claims process are generally the same no matter where you live.
In other words, Midwest Disability can represent you efficiently regardless of where you live. Our lawyers travel throughout the nation to represent clients in administrative hearings in the states in which they live. The cost is the same as well and is contingent on you winning your case.
Based in the Midwest, our social security disability lawyers provide legal assistance to clients throughout the nation. Contact us online or call our offices directly at for a free case evaluation and consultation with one of our SSD/SSI benefit attorneys. We will provide you with information about Social Security Disability benefits and explain how we can help you through the Social Security process.
Our legal team started in the Midwest but now provides legal assistance to Social Security applicants throughout the nation. Let us bring our Midwest values to you no matter where you live. Free Case Evaluation.
Social Security Disability Insurance Eligibility
To qualify for SSDI benefits, an individual must have an impairment that prevents him or her from working that also meets the Social Security Administrations definition of disability, which is different for minors and adults.
Ticket to Work Program
Minnesota Unemployment and Disability Benefits
Indiana Unemployment Benefits And Eligibility
COVID-19 UPDATE:Because the coronavirus pandemic has left so many Americans jobless, the federal government has given states more flexibility in granting unemployment benefits. If you have questions about whether youre eligible for unemployment benefits read our COVID-19 Unemployment Benefits and Insurance FAQ and check out Indiana’s claimant handbook.
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Unemployment Benefits Impact On Social Security & Vice Versa
As mentioned previously, the state of Minnesota is the only state in the union that currently offsets the unemployment benefits of those who are already receiving Social Security income. If you live in this state, your unemployment benefits may be reduced by an amount equal to half of your Social Security benefits.
But, collecting unemployment benefits never has any type of impact on the amount of Social Security you receive. If you take Social Security at age 62 and are still working, then your earned income can reduce your Social Security benefit, but because unemployment benefits are considered to be unearned income, there is no impact.
Will Unemployment Compensation Affect My Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits
There are cases where you can work and receive Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits But what if you lose your job? Are you eligible for Unemployment Compensation?
If you are enrolled in the Social Security Ticket to Work program and you worked for at least six months before you were laid off, you are eligible to collect unemployment benefits and disability benefits at the same time.
Social Security uses Grid Rules based on age, RFC level , education level, and work history and skills to determine disability. If you are over 50 years old and can only do sedentary work, and if you have been seeking sedentary work while collecting unemployment, you may remain eligible for both unemployment and disability. If you are over 55 years old and can only do light work, and you have been seeking light work while collecting unemployment, you may remain eligible for both unemployment and disability.
Unemployment benefits do not affect or reduce retirement and disability benefits. State unemployment compensation payments are not wages because they are paid due to unemployment rather than employment. However, income from Social Security may reduce your unemployment compensation.
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Can I Apply For Both Unemployment & Long
Yes, you can apply for unemployment benefits and long-term benefits at the same time, but it is typically not a good idea. When you file your applications for benefits, you are contradicting yourself. On the unemployment application, you state you can work. On the disability application, you state you cannot work.
The state unemployment office may deny your application based on your assertion that you cannot work. Likewise, the Social Security Administration or the private disability insurance carrier may point to your unemployment application or benefits as proof that you can work.
What Is Unemployment Insurance
Unemployment assistance is available to most workers who lose their jobs through no fault of their own, such as former employees who have been laid off or terminated without a specific cause. States vary in what they consider no-fault terminations, which may affect approval of benefits. Reduced benefits are generally available to workers who remain employed, but whose working hours have been reduced by their employer.
Like Social Security, unemployment benefits are funded via a payroll withholding deduction, though the amount varies with the state where the work is performed. A minimum amount of work over the previous few years is usually required to build up eligibility, with the payment award amount determined by the average income a worker earned over the look-back period, which is the period of time used for computing base wages. As a rule, unemployment beneficiaries must look for work and be available for re-employment in order to continue to receive benefits.
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Eligibility: Social Security Disability And Unemployment
The Social Security Administration does not explicitly deny Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income claims by those already receiving unemployment benefits. However, you can see by looking at the eligibility requirements why Social Security and unemployment claims often don’t mix:
- Unemployment: Must be ready, willing and able to work on a full-time basis
- Disability: Must be unable to work a full-time job for 12 months because of a disabling medical condition. If a person is expected to be unable to work for 12 months, this qualifies as well.
A 1999 U.S. Supreme Court case held that Social Security disability claims “did not inherently conflict” with other types of benefits. However, it is up to the claimant to prove that his eligibility for unemployment benefits is not in conflict with a disability claim.
Collecting Social Security And Unemployment
Full unemployment insurance benefits are available for eligible workers who are collecting social security in most states. In the past there were exceptions in some states where the amount of unemployment compensation was offset by some of the social security benefits that were received.
Eligibility requirements to qualify for unemployment compensation vary from state to state. In most states, you can collect both full unemployment benefits and social security. Check with your state unemployment office for details.
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Will Applying For Social Security Benefits Affect Unemployment
While unemployment benefits will not affect Social Security payment amounts, unless the payments exceed the SSI maximum, the opposite is true under some circumstances. Funds received through one of Social Security benefit programs may end up reducing a persons unemployment benefits, depending on the state in which the recipient lives.
Social Security benefits only affect unemployment benefit amounts in the following states: Illinois, Louisiana, Minnesota, and South Dakota .
This wasnt always the case. In the early 2000s, 20 states and the District of Columbia had Social Security offset laws. States began repealing them in 2003 amid advocacy efforts on the issue. The most recent state to do so was Illinois, which repealed its offset law in 2015.
Minnesota still has partial offset laws regarding Social Security and unemployment compensation. For residents who receive both benefits, Minnesota reduces unemployment insurance by half of your Social Security benefits. There are determining factors, such as when you started receiving disability payments and the length of time between filing for Social Security and filing for unemployment.
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.
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A Key Disconnect Between The Two
The purpose of unemployment insurance is to help workers who have lost jobs through no fault of their own bridge the financial gap until they can find comparable employment. When you collect unemployment benefits, you are certifying to state authorities that you are both physically ready and able to work, and that you are actively looking for another position. That is why recipients have to periodically update unemployment officials on how their job search is progressing .
Disability benefits, on the other hand, are there to provide financial help to people who are too sick to hold down a full-time job. Recipients of disability benefits essentially swear to the government that their physical or mental disorder is so severe as to prevent them from working altogether, thus the need for disability-based assistance.
Can You Collect Unemployment And Social Security What You Need To Know
An individual can collect unemployment benefits and Social Security benefits at the same time. The term unemployment benefits covers regular unemployment insurance from the worker’s state, as well as an extension of UI benefits provided by that state. It also covers payments for an unemployed person which flow through their state but are funded by the federal government in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Two coronavirus-related programs that provide unemployment benefits are Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance . PEUC is for workers who were laid off or saw a substantial reduction in hours. PUA is for self-employed people and independent contractors. An individual who was receiving UI, an extension of UI and then PEUC is typically eligible for PUA after their PEUC is exhausted.
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Make Sure You’re Properly Covered: Get Professional Legal Help Today
If your case is especially complex, or you have additional questions about disability and unemployment, you may benefit from a consultation with a Social Security Disability Insurance lawyer. An attorney will understand how to navigate the system and ensure everything is filed correctly. Contact an experienced SSDI attorney today.
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Who Is Eligible For Unemployment And Social Security
Not everybody is eligible for Social Security or unemployment benefits. Both programs have lifetime work history requirements that have to be met before the programs are available to workers. Both programs also have strict citizenship, residency and other criteria to judge applicants’ eligibility for benefits.
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Contact Our Long Term Disability Lawyer In Kansas City
The Law Office of Kevin J. McManus assists clients as they seek long-term disability and short-term disability benefits and after such benefits have been denied. If you have questions about disability benefits or would like to appeal a denial of long-term disability benefits, please contact our law firm in Kansas City, Missouri.
We have a free book you can download right now to guide you through the process. Additionally, we offer free reviews of denial letters from a disability insurance company and can offer a strategy on how to fight back. Whatever you choose to do, don’t wait – call today at 816-203-0143.
What If I Change My Mind Or My Circumstances Shift
If you decide to claim benefits now, there are a couple of ways you may be able to adjust your strategy later if your circumstances change.
If you start receiving checks now and later change your mind, you have up to one year to withdraw your application.
There are restrictions, however. For example, you cannot do this 12 months after you made your decision. And you can only do this once.
Another catch: you must repay all of the benefits that you and your family received.
Still, this could be an option if your finances improve and you can afford to stop getting those checks and let your benefits grow.
It does not always pay to take benefits early if you still have income coming in and you are younger than your full retirement age. According to Social Security rules, your benefits will be reduced by $1 for every $2 you earn over $18,240.
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Another strategy is to claim your retirement benefits early and then suspend those checks when you reach your full retirement age.
That way, you can let your benefits grow up until age 70, when the Social Security Administration would automatically begin sending you checks again. You can request to start payments again at any time.
Understand that any family members who receive benefits based on your record will not be able to do so while your own benefits are suspended.