Many people believe that if they are currently unemployed and collecting unemployment checks, they may be able to apply for and/or receive Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits as well. To you, they may appear the same—checks from the government because you can’t work. However, as far as the law is concerned, unemployment Compensation and SSD Compensation are two entirely different things.
Many people with legitimate disabilities apply for unemployment before realizing that a better option exists and without realizing that receiving unemployment benefits is a statement of intent and ability to work. If you are unemployed and collecting Compensation, you are formally stating that you are willing and able to work but are unable to find it. If you are applying for SSD, you are formally stating that you are physically or psychologically unable to work.
Your collection of unemployment benefits may in fact be a detriment to your application for Social Security Disability benefits. When claims officers look at your file, they will see that you are, in fact, collecting unemployment and must, therefore, be ready and able to work. They may deny your application on that basis alone. At the very least, it may cause problems. They may report you to unemployment claims officers, who could then charge you with fraud and force you to pay back any unemployment benefits you claimed while disabled.
Please let your SSD lawyer know about any unemployment monies you have received or are currently receiving, as this information is crucial to the process. There are ways to switch smoothly from receiving unemployment benefits to receiving SSD benefits, but they are complex and involve precise language and forms that require the assistance of a trained legal professional.
Contact us today for help applying for SSD benefits. Our office can support you in your attempt to receive proper legal compensatory benefits while you receive treatment for your disease or condition that prevents you from working.