Receipt of Unemployment Benefits

February 12, 2014

Drawing unemployment benefits while applying for Social Security Disability benefits can be difficult.  When applying for unemployment, a person in the State of Florida must affirm that he is actively looking for a job.  When applying for Social Security Disability, a person is stating that he is unable to work.  On the face, this sounds confusing, but in some instances, individuals will actually qualify for both benefits.

Consider the 60 year old man who previously worked in a heavy construction job was laid off because he cannot perform his job due to the limiting effects of arthritis.  This man may be unable to work at a construction job or something in a similar capacity, which renders him disabled for Social Security purposes.  If he is looking for a lighter position, something at a desk perhaps, he also qualifies for unemployment.  Social Security considers the fact that he is unlikely to be hired due to the negative factors of his age and lack of experience at desk work and has made a legislative determination that a person who is 60 with past work at a demanding physical job is, for the purposes of Social Security Disability, effectively “disabled” if he is unable to do more than sit down job.

Congress is now considering barring the dual receipt of benefits, which will cause all sorts of headaches.  As many people know, it can take years to obtain Social Security Disability.  Medicare is attached to SSD.  Unemployment comes quickly, and at a time when a person is unable to work.  If a person applies for and receives unemployment, it will limit the ability to draw the SSD benefits that he is also entitled to and may cause a significant delay in the eligibility for Medicare.

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