Does Unemployment Affect My Ability to Receive Social Security Disability?

By December 10, 2020 No Comments

As the pandemic continues, more people are facing extended unemployment (UI) that can affect those who receive Social Security benefits including retirement benefits, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and Social Security Disability Income (SSDI). If you’re collecting unemployment insurance (UI) while you’re looking for a new job you can rest days knowing that UI does not prevent you from receiving retirement benefits or vice versa. 

Why It Can Be Difficult to Collect Unemployment Benefits and SSDI

Although it’s legal to collect both at the same time (and neither affects the amount of the other), the main criteria for both programs often counterbalance each other. As the AARP puts it, “To get unemployment, you must be actively looking for work. To get disability, you must be largely unable to work.”

However, if you are looking for part-time or temporary work this is not inconsistent with your claim for SSDI.

What About SSI?

UI benefits would affect SSI because those benefits are counted as unearned income which would reduce, or eliminate, your monthly benefit. When you apply for UI, you are claiming that you can work while continuing to be active on the job application front. SSI benefits require you be unable to work at a meaningful level. 


If you’re receiving worker’s compensation benefits, additional issues arise. If you’re unemployed and have questions about the Social Security system, it’s been to consult a qualified Social Security claims attorney. Eugene and Albany residents turn to Drew L. Johnson, P.C. for their needs. Call (541) 434-6466 to learn more and schedule a free consultation.