This topic is one that haunts many an unemployed soul. Filing for social welface benefits while receiving unemployment compensation or vice versa is a matter that requires serious attention. While in most cases the State and Federal law frown upon receiving multiple benefits together, there are some cases in which claimants for Unemployment Insurance (UI) are allowed to claim other benefits.
First, let’s take a look at the other kinds of social welfare benefits available to an unemployed person.
- Social security disability insurance (SSDI)
- Supplemental security insurance (SSI)
- Social security retirement benefits
- Military benefits
The good news is that filing for unemployment while on other benefits is sometimes permitted in some states. Let’s discuss applying for UI while on each of the above welfare programs.
Filing for UI while on SSDI
Although filing for UI and disability insurance simultaneously is not uncommon, it poses a conflict. One of the eligibility criterion for unemployment insurance is that the claimant is able and available for full time work. This is an inconsistency. If a person is disabled, he/she is clearly not available or able to perform full time work.
The good news is that the law does allow an individual to collect both unemployment compensation and SSDI at the same time. That said, the eligibility and other determining factors vary from person to person. You may need to approach an experienced attorney to find out whether you qualify for both.
After some research on the Internet, we found out that in cases where it is absolutely necessary for a person to avail UI while on SSDI, the law has shown leniency. This will require the claimant to provide an explanation to the judge when demanded. If you do qualify, there is a high chance that the benefit amount will be reduced by a certain percentage as you have another source of income.
Sadly, the number of cases where one claim was denied due to the individual already claiming the other is much more higher than the cases where the law has shown leniency. Your State Unemployment Agency and the Federal Law are the final word on the matter of your eligibility. Contact them at the earliest to resolve your concerns.
Filing for UI while on SSI
Supplemental security income is handed out to people who have very low income. To qualify for this one must be 65+ yrs, disabled or blind. SSI is administered by the Social Security Administration and is funded from the U.S. Treasury general funds. In most cases, people who are eligible for SSI are allowed to file for unemployment insurance also.
SSI benefits depend on a person’s monthly income. As unemployment compensation is considered as a source of income, your SSI benefits will be affected because of them. This is not true in all the states. Some states are quite lenient and do not consider UI benefits as a source of income.
Filing for UI while on SS retirement benefits
Social Security Retirement Benefits are given out to folks who paid social security during their earning years. In general, people who receive these benefits are 65+ years old. And hence they may qualify to receive unemployment compensation. However the amount you receive as retirement benefit may diminish as some states consider unemployment compensation as a form of income.
Filing for UI while on pension
Yes, you can file for both at the same time. But depending on the reasons behind you leaving the job, your eligibility may be affected.
Some pensions do affect unemployment insurance claims. This means that if you are receiving pension from an employer for whom you worked during your base period, the UI benefit amount may be reduced up to 50%. However, if you solely contributed to your pension funds, the benefit amount will be unaffected.
Filing for UI while receiving military benefits
There is a separate scheme of welfare programs for ex- servicemen (UCX). These programs are for people who are unable to find work post leaving the military. In this case, UI and military benefits that you are eligible for is one and the same.
A word of advice
When it comes to matters of unemployment and other benefits, the State’s Unemployment Insurance Agency and Federal law are the final deciders. If they deem you ineligible for whatever reasons, you will be unable to collect the said benefits. Also, failing to report alternate sources of income or committing fraud are serious offenses which could even land you in prison.
Always, we repeat, always contact the unemployment agency in case you find yourself doubting about matters related to your eligibility. Remember to submit authentic information on your claims and other formalities. If you need to calculate your benefits amounts, please check our Unemployment benefits calculator
Being unemployed is no piece of cake. We are sure that something great will come up and that life will continue to surprise you in pleasant ways. If you have further doubts and concerns, visit our community forum. Cheers!