Disability Benefits and Unemployment

By Marie Lowery, Attorney

When you file for unemployment in South Carolina, you state that you are able and available for full-time work, and are actively seeking employment. To remain eligible for benefits, you must make at least four job contacts each week that you are unemployed.

Collecting Unemployment Benefits and Filing for Disability at the Same Time

Collecting unemployment while applying for disability at the same time is a controversial issue because certifying that you are able and available for full-time work is inconsistent with a claim for disability.

There are a few situations where receiving unemployment is not inconsistent with a claim for benefits. An older individual could be entitled to disability benefits due to a “medical-vocational” allowance but still be able to work. For instance, a 50 year-old claimant limited to sedentary work is “able to work,” yet because of his age, past job skills, and education level, may still be approved for disability benefits. Further, individuals receiving unemployment who are authorized to seek only part-time work may be found disabled since Social Security considers an individual’s ability to work 8 hours a day for 5 days a week, or an equivalent work schedule.

The Social Security Administration’s official stance is that receiving unemployment benefits does not prevent an individual from receiving Social Security disability benefits. However, it is a factor that many Administrative Law Judges take into account when considering a claim and the receipt of unemployment may result in a later disability onset date, reducing the amount an individual may receive in back benefits.

If you have questions about seeking Social Security disability benefits while drawing employment, contact a disability benefits attorney at Joye Law Firm at (888) 324-3100 or use our online contact form.