Can you file for SSDI while on unemployment?

On Behalf of | Mar 25, 2022 | Social Security Disability Claims

A lot of industries are struggling right now. Inflation, supply chain interruptions and problems with finding a steady labor force are causing all kinds of havoc, and a lot of businesses are scaling back or closing.

You aren’t surprised, then, when you’re laid off or fired. Unemployment benefits are available, but you’re conscious of the fact that age and years of labor have taken their toll on your body. Maybe you have back problems, heart problems, high blood pressure or diabetes – or some combination of conditions that you know will make it very hard to adapt to any new job.

Should you file for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) before your unemployment runs out?

You may be setting yourself up for a problem in both directions

Given how long it can take to get a claim approved, it may seem like a good idea to file for SSDI before your unemployment runs out. However, doing so could set you up for some big problems with both your unemployment and your SSDI claim. Here’s why:

  • To maintain your eligibility for unemployment, you have to keep looking for full-time work and provide the unemployment office with a record of your search.
  • To obtain SSDI benefits, you have to tell the Social Security Administration (SSA) that you are unable to adapt to a new line of work, do the work you used to do or otherwise perform any kind of substantial gainful activity.

In short, if you file your SSDI claim before your unemployment ends, you would have to tell the Office of Unemployment Compensation that you’re able and willing to work, while simultaneously telling the SSA you’re unable to resume working. That’s why most people wait until their unemployment ends to pursue an SSDI claim.

Traps like these leave disability applicants frustrated and concerned about their future. That’s why it’s so important to make sure that your SSDI application is handled properly from the very start.