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Can You Receive Long-Term Disability And UI Benefits Simultaneously?

If you are unemployed and disabled, you might be wondering if you can receive Long-Term Disability (LTD) and Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits simultaneously. The answer? Rarely. You can collect them simultaneously only when the eligibility requirements of the Long-Term Disability and Unemployment Insurance program overlap. 

In this article, we will guide you on collecting Long-Term Disability and UI benefits simultaneously. But before that, let’s have a detailed look at LTD and UI benefits programs.

Unemployment Insurance Benefits Program

Unemployment benefits are given to people who lost their job through no fault of their own. To qualify for the benefits, the claimant must be able, available for work, and actively look for work. The claimant must also submit a record of work searches, which should include the address if employers approached, the number of interviews attended, etc. 

Other eligibility criteria include:

  • Minimum earning during the base period 
  • Minimum number of work hours 
  • Totally or partially unemployed 

Long-Term Disability Benefits Program

Long-Term Disability benefits are given to people who are unable to work. The LTD program defines the inability to do a work in two forms: inability to take up any job and inability to do their own work. 

The definition of disability in an “inability to take up any job” is that one must be completely incapable of taking up any job for which he/she is qualified based on your education or experience. For example, a firefighter who cannot climb ladders or lift heavy objects will not be considered as disabled under an “any job” if he’s still capable of taking up other jobs, such as a cashier, clerk, etc.

The definition of disabled in an “inability to do their own job” form is that one is unable to perform the duties of his/her own job. For instance, a firefighter who is medically unable to meet the mental or physical requirements of that job is considered as disabled even if he can take up another, less strenuous job. 

Receiving Long-Term Disability And UI Benefits At The Same Time

Generally, one cannot receive Long-Term Disability and UI benefits simultaneously, especially in states like New York. However, in rare situations, one may qualify for both the benefits depending on his/her state of residence and how broadly the state’s policy defines the disability. 

Situations in which you can receive both LTD and UI benefits include:

  • You can take up a job that is not similar to your previous work
  • Your job does not rise to Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) level 
  • You are receiving partial LTD benefits

Receiving Long-Term Disability And UI Benefits Consecutively

If you do not qualify to get LTD and UI benefits simultaneously, you can receive them consecutively, i.e., you can get one benefit after another. 

(1) You can receive unemployment benefits and then become disabled and obtain disability. 

If you are currently getting unemployment benefits and have a disability policy, you can file a disability claim. If your disability benefit is given through your employer, you may not receive the LTD benefits if you were terminated and are receiving unemployment benefits. However, some policies may extend for a period after employment. In such cases, you may still be covered under the policy. 

If you have an independent policy, then you can file a claim when you become disabled. At that point, you have to notify the authorities at the unemployment office that you are no longer “able, available, and willing” to work. 

(2) You can receive disability and then become able to work and receive unemployment benefits. Before applying for UI benefits, you should evaluate your ability to take up a job and whether your previous employer can provide you a job. Once you become able to take a job, you have to notify your disability benefits provider. This would require certification from a doctor.

Note that you will not receive a full Long-Term Disability amount if you qualify for unemployment benefits. The LTD insurers will deduct some amount from your LTD benefits depending on your unemployment benefits.

Closing Thoughts

Though the chances of receiving both the benefits simultaneously are not great, it is worth trying. However, note that filing for Long-Term Disability and UI benefits simultaneously can be challenging. It is always wiser to consult a Long-Term Disability lawyer before applying for UI benefits. 


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