The answer is “maybe.” There is a conflict between the requirements for each program that can make it difficult for some claimants to receive benefits from both for the same time period. To receive Social Security disability benefits, you must be unable to work because of a severe impairment. But to receive unemployment benefits, you must be ready, willing, and able to work.
No statute, regulation or ruling says a claimant cannot receive unemployment compensation and Social Security disability benefits for the same period. Nevertheless, administrative law judges have widely different views on this issue.
Some judges believe that receiving benefits from both programs is unfair double-dipping. These judges will request that you amend the onset date (the date that you became disabled) in your application to a date after you stopped receiving unemployment compensation.
Some judges will treat receipt of unemployment benefits as proof that you are able to work. In addition to amending your onset date, these judges will expect some proof that your condition worsened after you stopped receiving unemployment compensation.
It can be problematic for some judges if you applied for jobs that required physical abilities in excess of your claimed limitations. Other judges recognize that a person’s desire to work may be greater than his or her actual ability to work. With these judges, an effective argument may be that, even though you tried to find work during the time you were receiving unemployment benefits, in hindsight you would not have been able to sustain work. Still other judges are not concerned with the conflict and will not even ask you about it.
An experienced Ocala Social Security lawyer will try to find out the views of the judge assigned to your case to determine what approach is best to take.
If you are applying for Social Security disability benefits in the state of Florida, or your application has been denied, an experienced Ocala Social Security attorney at the CJ Henry Law Firm can help you. Call (352) 304-5300 for more information.