Is it Possible to Obtain Disability and Unemployment Benefits?

disability claimant applying for unemploymentThe short answer is yes. It is possible to get Social Security Disability benefits while you are receiving other types of government benefits. However, it is important to understand how these programs interact with one another and the impact they could potentially have on your disability claim.

Unemployment benefits provide temporary income to unemployed workers. However, applying for disability benefits when you are already receiving unemployment can be a complicated process.

Social Security Disability benefits are reserved for people who are unable to work due to an injury or illness whereas unemployment benefits are available for people who are able and willing to work.

Sigman Janssen’s Oshkosh Social Security Disability lawyers have extensive experience helping claimants apply for the benefits they need. An initial consultation is free of charge. It allows our firm to review your situation and discuss how to maximize your benefits and allows you to learn about your options.

No Risk or Obligations. Call: (877) 888-5201.

Eligibility for Unemployment

Unemployment benefits help provide temporary financial assistance to individuals who are currently unemployed and not working. The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) is in charge of handling unemployment benefits. Eligibility is determined on a case-by-case basis.

To be eligible for this benefit program, you must be a Wisconsin resident and meet the criteria below:

  • Be unemployed through no fault of your own
  • Have worked in the state within the past 12 months
  • Have earned at least a minimum amount in wages
  • Are actively seeking employment

Your recent work history and earnings in a one-year base period will be evaluated to determine your eligibility for unemployment. The base period in Wisconsin is the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters before the week you filed your claim for benefits. For instance, say you filed your claim in November of 2021. The base period would start from July 1, 2020, and end on June 30, 2021.

Social Security Disability Requirements

Individuals may be eligible for disability benefits if they suffer from a medical condition that prevents them from being able to work and do basic work-related activities.

You must meet the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) definition of a disability:

  • Inability to work your previous job
  • Inability to do any other type of job
  • Inability to work for a year or more due to disability

Those applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) must also have worked long enough and recently enough to qualify for benefits. You need a certain number of work credits. Generally, you need 40 work credits – 20 of which were earned within the last decade ending in the year you became disabled.

Those applying for Supplemental Social Security (SSI), must also meet certain income requirements. The SSA will consider all earned and unearned income when determining your income. Since unemployment benefits are considered unearned income, this could affect your eligibility for SSI.

Getting Disability and Unemployment Benefits

Receiving unemployment does not make you ineligible for disability, but there are some risks to claiming both kinds of benefits. This is something that will be looked at during the disability claims process.

Disability claims examiners and administrative law judges (ALJ) who review your claim will take into consideration if you are receiving unemployment benefits when evaluating whether you are disabled.

Since you must be able to work to receive unemployment benefits, the ALJ may take this as an indication that your disability does not prevent you from working. The ALJ may even question you about the specifics of why your job ended to find out if it ended due to a mental or physical impairment.

The ALJ will take into account how long you have been receiving unemployment benefits and the types of jobs you are seeking employment for, among other factors.

Since employment benefits also require that you are physically capable of working, applying for disability could indicate that you are not physically able to work. This may conflict with your claim.

Overall, receiving unemployment benefits could have an impact on your disability claim, but you cannot be denied disability benefits only because you are receiving unemployment benefits.

Contact an Experienced Lawyer Today

An experienced lawyer can help you determine if it is possible to obtain disability and unemployment benefits given your particular circumstances. Our firm is ready to help maximize your benefits. We know what the SSA is looking for and the reasons a disability claim may be denied. In fact, many claims are not approved the first time around, but that should not deter you from applying for SSDI or SSI benefits.

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. This meeting comes with no obligation. If you have a valid claim, there are no upfront costs to have us represent you. We only get paid if you get benefits.

Call (877) 888-5201 to talk to a lawyer today.