Can You Get Both Unemployment and Social Security Disability Benefits? By Tom Foley III on September 15, 2020

An attorney explaining paperwork to a manWhen serious injuries cause permanent disability and inability to return to work, a personal injury attorney can help.

Social Security Disability Insurance and unemployment benefits can provide a financial lifeline to those who find themselves unable to work, but can you get both unemployment and Social Security Disability benefits? The answer is sometimes.

At Foley Law Firm, serving Scranton, PA, Stroudsburg, PA, Wilkes-Barre, PA, and the surrounding areas, our attorneys can determine the answer on a case-by-case basis. To find out if you may be eligible for both, we welcome you to schedule a consultation.

Eligibility for Unemployment

People who have lost their jobs in the state of Pennsylvania through no fault of their own may be eligible for unemployment compensation if certain requirements are met. Eligibility is determined based on information provided by the employee and former employer. In order to be eligible, you must:

  • Have a sufficient amount of wages and weeks of employment
  • Not be at fault for the loss of employment
  • Be able to accept work suitable to your experience
  • Not refuse work without good reason when it is offered
  • Actively search for work every week that unemployment compensation is received

Eligibility for Social Security Disability Benefits

There are several requirements that must be met in order to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). In order to be eligible for SSDI benefits, you must be unable to work due to a medical condition that has lasted or is expected to last at least a year, or have a medical condition that is expected to result in death.

In addition to being unable to work due to a medical condition, you must meet other eligibility requirements. Authorities will check that eligible recipients have:

  • Paid Social Security taxes and worked for a sufficient amount of time
  • Paid Social Security taxes within the last few years
  • Not performed substantial work recently

Is It Possible to Collect Both?

Trying to collect unemployment compensation and Social Security benefits for a disability at the same time can be difficult due to the inherent contradiction between the two services.

In order to collect unemployment benefits, you must be actively looking for a job and be willing to work. Social Security Disability Insurance requires the opposite: you must be unable to work.

Despite the contradictory nature between unemployment and Social Security, it is sometimes possible to collect both.

The SSDI Ticket to Work Program

One way it may be possible to collect both SSDI benefits and unemployment compensation is through the Ticket to Work Program (TWP). 

The TWP allows those who receive SSDI benefits to try to return to work for at least nine months. During this time, SSDI benefits are still paid and the amount is not affected by how much is earned while working provided that the work activity is reported and the medical condition causing impairment remains.

Because people in the TWP are allowed to work, they may collect unemployment if they are laid off or lose their job through no fault of their own, while still collecting their SSDI benefits.

Learn More about Your Options

There are other ways it may be possible to collect both unemployment compensation and SSDI benefits, but going about it the wrong way can lead to serious legal consequences, including heavy fines, prison time, and even a felony charge for unemployment fraud.

It's important to consult an attorney knowledgeable in SSDI benefits and unemployment when considering collecting both. To schedule a consultation with the attorneys of Foley Law Firm, please call (570) 342-8194.

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Foley Law Firm

The attorneys of the Foley Law Firm provide committed personal injury representation to eastern Pennsylvania. Our firm is proud to be affiliated with prominent organizations, including:

  • Martindale-Hubbell®
  • U.S. News & Nightly Reports
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If you are looking for legal representation from a top-rated personal injury law firm in Scranton, call us at (800) 523-6539 or request a consultation online.

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