|Natalia Jofre:||Hi, and welcome to Hill & Ponton’s Social Security disability blog. I’m Natalia Jofre, the Director for our Social Security section.|
|Shelly Mark:||I’m Shelly Mark. I’m the Senior Social Security Attorney.|
|Natalia Jofre:||So, the last time we talked about onset date, and we briefly touched on unemployment benefits, and we wanted to talk to you more about unemployment, because we have a lot of clients that call us and say, “I’m getting unemployment benefits. I can’t work. I wanna get Social Security as well,” or are not working because, you know, “I got fired,” or, “I got laid off because of my disability,” and so they wanna know, can they file for Social Security disability benefits as well or not.|
|Shelly Mark:||And our firm … Here, we usually tell people that we would prefer them not be receiving unemployment benefits at the same time that they’re alleging disability from Social Security. We do understand that, as a necessity, sometimes people have to take their unemployment benefits, and they are still looking for work, but due to their disability they’re not getting calls back, they’re not finding work, and so they do need to pursue their disability claim.|
|But this would probably be one of those situations where we would tell them, “It’s fine that you got your unemployment for three months, but we are gonna go ahead and change your disability date to when that’s stopped.”|
|Natalia Jofre:||And the reason that poses a problem is because, when you file for unemployment benefits, you sign a waiver, and that waiver says that you’re ready, willing and able to go back to work at any time. When you get, or when you file for Social Security disability benefits, you are also alleging that you are unable to do any type of work or be retrained to do any type of work, and so what happens is, if you get to a hearing and you’re before a judge, and they’re looking at this, and the examiner’s before them, and they’re like, “Wait a minute. THere’s a discrepancy here. There’s a direct contradiction. You’re telling us you can’t work, and then here, to get this benefit, you are actually looking for work, and saying that you’re ready, willing and able to go back to work at any time.” That contradiction poses a real problem for your disability claim.|
|So, like Shelly said, you can file for Social Security benefits, and technically you can continue to get your unemployment benefits. Just know that it’s very probable that it’s gonna present a significant problem, and that it’s either going to preclude you from getting approved or, at the very least you’re going to have to explain … And we do that all the time.|
|Natalia Jofre:||We’ll explain to the judge, “Look, it was either this or homelessness.”|
|Natalia Jofre:||But, like you said, they normally don’t want to grant benefits for the same period of time that you are getting unemployment, because if you do that, then it’s almost as if you’re double dipping. The government is basically paying you twice for months where didn’t work.|
|Shelly Mark:||Exactly. They see it as, you know, the government’s paying you for a period of time not to work, and then they’re paying you to work, or to seek work, so it is definitely a contradiction. It is one that can be clarified, but usually, at least with our cases, we do change it so that we’re not asking Social Security to pay someone while they’re receiving unemployment benefits.|
|Natalia Jofre:||All right. Great. Well, that concludes today’s blog. If you have any questions, feel free to visit our website or call our office. Otherwise, we’ll see you next time.|
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