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Can I receive SSDI benefits while I’m receiving unemployment compensation?

Riddle Brantley LLP   |  January 19, 2015   |  

Possibly. When you apply for unemployment compensation, you represent that you are ready, willing and able to work if a job is made available to you.  When you apply for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, you represent that you are too sick or injured to work whether or not a job is made available to you. This creates a contradiction.

Many of our clients find themselves desperate for income to support their families after they lose their jobs due to an injury or an illness. As a matter of economic survival, they HAVE to seek unemployment compensation because they can begin collecting those benefits right away. In contrast, SSDI benefits can take months or even years to receive.

The Social Security Administration recognizes this economic reality. It also recognizes that the criteria for being “disabled” under their rules are different from the criteria for “able to work” under North Carolina unemployment compensation law. In certain situations, a claimant can collect both at the same time, as long as they are 100% honest in the applications they sign for both.

A first warning: even though some people have been able to collect both disability and unemployment benefits at the same time, many Administrative Law Judges still take an unfavorable view of them doing so. Each such case must be presented properly and skillfully to the judge.

A second warning: in almost every instance, no one who is under age 50 will be eligible for both disability and unemployment benefits.

Every case is different, and these principles may not apply to your case. Call (800)525-7111 to speak to the experienced attorneys at Riddle & Brantley, LLP and find out if your situation may qualify for both types of benefits.