Can you collect unemployment insurance and Social Security Disability at the same time?

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Can you collect unemployment insurance and Social Security Disability at the same time?

My husband, John is a 60 year old disabled combat veteran with a 40% disability rating. He lost his job 2 years ago last May and immediately applied for and received his unemployment benefit. Though he searched daily, he was unable to find gainful employment and when his unemployment ran out we tried to squeak by on my salary alone. After some time (can’t remember precisely how long) the unemployment benefits were extended and John continued to file as he continued to look for work. When the benefits expired a second time we were pretty desperate so John decided to apply for Social Security Disability and, miracle of miracles, was approved for this benefit several months later. Yesterday John received a letter from the unemployment folks indicating that the new extension of benefits allows him to collect another 13 weeks of unemployment benefits. We could really use the money, but we want to be sure we’re following all the applicable rules and regulations. Our research has left us unsure.

Asked on August 27, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Colorado

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you can collect both unemployment benefits and SSD at the same time.  Unemployment benefits are not counted as wages under the SS annual earnings test. Therefore, it won’t affect your SSD benefits.  You should note, however, that the amount of your unemployment benefit could be reduced because of this. 

Here are links to 2 sites that will explain further:

www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10069.html.

http://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/progdesc/sspus/unemploy.pdf


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