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Social Security benefits and Unemployment

How do these two topics relate to each other? Here’s a summary by our attorney Mark Papa of a memo sent to all the Social Security Administartive Law Judges from their boss: An August 9, 2010 memorandum from the Chief Administrative Law Judge to all Administrative Law Judges (ALJ) titled Receipt of Unemployment Insurance Benefits by Claimant Applying for Disability Benefits-REMINDER reiterates the following:

  • Receipt of unemployment benefits does not preclude receipt of Social Security disability benefits.
  • Receipt of unemployment benefits is only one of many factors that must be considered in determining whether the claimant is disabled.
  • A claim for Social Security disability benefits can be consistent with a claim and/or receipt of unemployment benefits.
  • Because of the uncertainty regarding whether a claimant will be found disabled under the Social Security Act and because the decision can be lengthy, “it is SSA’s position that individuals need not choose between applying for unemployment insurance and Social Security disability benefits.”

Again, an application for or the receipt of unemployment benefits is evidence that an ALJ will consider in deciding an SSD claim. This memorandum instructs ALJs to “look at the totality of the circumstances in determining the significance of the application for unemployment benefits and related efforts to obtain employment.” Please contact Harrell and Harrell, PA to discuss this and any other issues you may have with your Social Security Disability and/or Supplemental Security Income claim.