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Social Security Disability
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Does Unemployment Affect My Social Security Disability

The Social Security Disability process is usually quite lengthy. You will need a source of income to tide you over through the months before your claim is approved. Applying for unemployment compensation might help. But it might also make it more difficult for you to be approved for Social Security funds. With a little research and preparation, you can determine if your situation qualifies you to receive both unemployment and disability payments.

How Does Unemployment Conflict With Disability?

When you apply for unemployment compensation, you are affirming that you have lost your job but are otherwise healthy, able to work and actively seeking work. The unemployment procedure requires that you apply for jobs whenever there is an opening in your field. In most cases, this comes into direct conflict with the basic requirements of Social Security Disability, in which you must affirm that you cannot work and will not be able to for at least a year. If you apply for unemployment compensation, it will go on your record and the disability claims examiner's office will see it. You might run the risk of being disqualified for disability benefits, because they will assume that you are able to work enough to earn a living.

Are There Special Cases?

Under certain conditions, you can collect unemployment without creating a conflict with your disability application. If you lost your job before becoming disabled, there should be no problem. Another special circumstance involves people over fifty whose disability prevents them from holding the kind of job they had previously, but who could do other kinds of work for which they have never been trained. Collecting unemployment benefits while seeking training and employment in the new field is not in conflict with disability. If you want some kind of part-time job that the disability review board would not consider gainful employment, you could go on unemployment and look for that type of work.


How Can I Find Out?

Each case is unique, and there is also some variation by state. The best way to determine if applying for unemployment would or would not harm your case with Social Security is to speak with a social security disability lawyer. Based on your personal history, you may have options you didn't know about. With an attorney's help, you will be able to learn more about your choices and take the appropriate actions.