Both Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Unemployment Benefits are programs to help individuals who are out of work.

Many individuals may be curious about both programs.

Can I Receive Both SSDI and Unemployment Benefits?

You almost certainly cannot receive both SSDI and unemployment benefits.

SSDI is a program for those who can’t work because of a disability. Unemployment is for individuals who are able and looking for work but cannot find a job.

That leaves very little room for crossover.

The confusion comes from a 1999 Supreme Court case that found that receiving SSDI does not preclude someone from receiving other benefits. But the individual must be able to articulate why they are eligible for both programs.

This leaves the rare case where someone can receive benefits from both programs.

What are the Risks in Applying for Both Social Security and Unemployment?

There are significant risks to applying for both programs. If you are receiving unemployment benefits it can be used by a Social Security examiner to discredit your claims for SSDI.

If you are receiving SSDI it can be used to demonstrate that you were not eligible for unemployment benefits. If you are found to have been ineligible for unemployment benefits you may be required to pay back the benefits received. Texas is one state that requires individuals to pay back benefits they were ineligible for.

Because of the significant risks, you should consult with an attorney if you are considering applying for both.

Should I Apply for SSDI or Unemployment?

The simple answer is that if you can work you should apply for unemployment and if you can’t work for medical reasons you should apply for SSDI. But individual circumstances can be complex.

If you are currently receiving both benefits, considering applying for both benefits, or considering moving from one type of benefit to another you should consult with an attorney to not only help you make the best decision but to help you time that decision best.

The Packard Law Firm is committed to helping individuals who are looking at benefit options make the best decision for them and their families. Reach out to us today.

More Disability Information:

  • Understanding The Appeals Process
  • Biggest Mistakes To Avoid
  • Part 1: The Social Security Disability Process