How Unemployment Benefits Can Hurt Your Social Security Claim

Many people collect unemployment benefits while their Social Security Disability claim is pending.  While this does not always mean disaster, it presents a difficult problem.  This is because in order to collect unemployment you must ready, willing, and able to perform some type of physical work.  On the contrary, to get Social Security Disability benefits, you must show that you are physically unable to perform full time gainful employment.

If you have received unemployment benefits, this does not mean that you will automatically be denied Social Security.  However, you should be prepared to explain to the Judge why you applied for unemployment if you are now claiming a disability.  Often times, the explanation is that a claimant was protecting his or her rights by applying for both programs.  Failing to apply for unemployment because of a pending Social Security Disability application can be costly in the even the Social Security claim is eventually denied.  A claimant does not know whether or not they will be declared disabled by the Judge until a decision is issued and for that reason it makes sense that someone might file for unemployment benefits in the interim as a protective measure.

If you have questions about a potential Social Security claim and would like a free consultation, please feel free to contact our office.