If I’m receiving disability, can I legally receive unemployment to make ends meet?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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If I’m receiving disability, can I legally receive unemployment to make ends meet?

I have worked with 2 retail companies for a total of 19 years and didn’t receive unemployment so since I have

paid into this shouldn’t I be able to legally receive what I paid into unless they use it for disability that I’m receiving now, I’m 65 years old and can’t seem to go back just yet which I would love to but trying to get back to the world of employment is difficult at the moment.

Asked on February 9, 2019 under Insurance Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, you cannot. Disability is income replacement when you *can't* work due to some disability or medical condition, while unemployment is income replacement when you *can* work but lost your job through no fault of your own. The two things are therefore fundamentally incompatible, since if you can work, you can't get disability--but if you can't work, you are ineligible for unemployment. They serve two different purposes and are not meant to be used together.

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