Can I Receive Both Unemployment and Social Security Disability Benefits?

 In Social Security Disability

In Colorado, a disability recipient can receive both state unemployment benefits and social security disability insurance benefits (DIB) without an offset. Colorado unemployment benefits can offset Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits because unemployment benefits are considered unearned income. Each dollar of unemployment benefits would reduce the SSI benefit by a dollar. Federal pandemic unemployment compensation received as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic have the same effect on DIB and SSI benefits as unemployment benefits. If the unemployment or the pandemic unemployment compensation payments stop for any reason, the SSI payments can be reinstated with a new application if the application is completed within 12 months of the suspension of SSI benefits. The Social Security Administration refers to this as a redetermination.

Unemployment benefits and Social Security Disability benefits may seem to be in opposition to some. A claimant receiving unemployment benefits in the State of Colorado certifies that he or she is ready, willing, and able to work. A claimant receiving disability benefits alleges an inability to work. Nonetheless, the two benefits are not necessarily in opposition. “Ready, willing and able to work” is not an indication that a person can work on a full-time basis. Instead, it only means that a person is ready, willing, and able to work within his or her limitations. On the other hand, a person receiving social security disability benefits can in fact work in a limited capacity and still be considered disabled. Receipt of unemployment benefits is one of many facts that an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) might consider in the disability determination. An ALJ will likely ask questions at a disability hearing to better understand the claimant’s specific limitations and the impact of those limitations on a claimant’s ability to work.

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