When you file for Social Security disability, you are saying that you have been or will be unable to work for at least twelve months due to a mental or physical disability. When you file for unemployment, however, you are saying that you are ready to work once you find a job opening that fits your work skills. Thus, filing for both can be a tricky situation.
The risk of filing for both
If you apply for unemployment compensation after you’ve filed for disability, it will go on your record and the disability claims examiner’s office will see it. When this happens, you run the risk of being disqualified for disability because the examiner will assume that you are fit to work to earn a living. Thankfully, there are certain cases where you can earn the benefits of both.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) will not prevent a claimant from being found disabled, even if he’s already receiving unemployment benefits. The law states that receipt of unemployment benefits does not automatically preclude an individual from receiving Social Security Disability benefits. This situation has long been addressed by the SSA’s Frank A. Cristaudo in his memoranda dated November 16, 2006 and August 9, 2010.
The special cases
You can collect unemployment disability benefits if you lost your job before becoming disabled. Nevertheless, each case is unique, and the best way to determine if filing for unemployment will not hinder your disability case is to talk to a workers compensation attorney.