• Can I Get Unemployment and Disability Insurance Benefits?

Can I collect disability insurance benefits if I am collecting unemployment benefits?

It is challenging for a disabled claimant to obtain either short or long term disability benefits when they are receiving or have received unemployment benefits. It is not impossible to get STD or LTD benefits, but a claimant would be much better off not seeking unemployment. One of the criteria to be eligible for unemployment benefits is that the employee must be able to work, available to work and actively seeking work. In a situation where a person has an “own occupation” policy, then it could be possible to receive unemployment and disability benefits. The other important reason to not seek unemployment is that in most ERISA / GROUP disability policies, any unemployment benefits received will offset any disability benefits which are owed.

Comments (37)

  • Courtney, it depends on the language of disability insurance policy; however, unemployment is often a form of income that can be deducted from your short-term disability benefits, which means that you cannot receive the full amount of both payments. Also, you must be very careful with submitting a claim for both unemployment and disability since the eligibility requirements are often inconsistent.

    Cesar Gavidia May 18, 2022  #37

  • I had a seizure. I am not able to drive for 6 months and am a mobile social worker. Can I collect unemployment and short-term disability together? Short-term disability alone will not cover my bills.

    Courtney May 17, 2022  #36

  • I have been out of work since October 2021 with chronic pain. My employer kept me on the payroll through the end of the year. In January I used FMLA, which expired in March. I was expecting to return to work in April however I have not recovered. Should I explore STD? Does that cover my insurance benefits?

    Greg Apr 29, 2022  #35

  • I am unable to work due to a rather serious and freak accident that has left me on LTD reaching the 2 yr mark, I have received recently received my first letter denying continuation of benefits from the LTD co (I understand this is common practice) however my co kept me on medical leave until just recently. (What’s your opinion) Is it possible for me to receive unemployment now that the LTD Co is unassuming responsibility and if so the pros and cons to doing so?

    Chris Apr 19, 2022  #34

  • After having back surgery, I could no longer work as an RN. I began to receive disability benefits. Because I am able to perform a less physically challenging job but have not been successful in finding such a job, can I also receive unemployment benefits?

    Beth Dec 12, 2021  #33

  • Kimberly: You may be able to apply for a state disability, if your state has that benefit, but that would be an offset (i.e., it would reduce) any STD benefit you are receiving.

    Jay Symonds Apr 27, 2021  #32

  • I have been on short term disability since March 26th. The first couple of weeks I didn’t receive any money. And now I am getting only $200 per week. Am I able to apply for any other aid to help me out until I am released back to work by my doctor?

    Kimberly Apr 27, 2021  #31

  • Chuck: It sounds as though your coverage is a short-term salary continuation plan through your employer rather than a fully-insured STD policy through and insurance carrier. I suggest you consult an Employment lawyer for an answer to your question.

    Jay Symonds Apr 26, 2021  #30

  • I am out on std for a surgery. My employer has furloughed the entire hourly workforce for 2 weeks. I was told they are pausing my std and I should file for unemployment for the 2 week furlough. I can’t answer that my last day of work was the prior week because I was off work. I also can’t say I am able to work as I have not been released by my doctor to return to work. The HR person told me to answer yes to both questions. Is this legit? I would be lying. I don’t know what to do.

    Chuck Apr 25, 2021  #29

  • Beth, we do not specialize in Unemployment benefits. You would need to contact an employment lawyer.

    Rachel Alters Apr 4, 2021  #28

  • I am currently and have received Unemployment since June of last year due to Covid 19. My doctor said I may have to have back surgery back in Dec 2020 so I contacted a Disability Group in Colorado to see if I might qualify for disability I gave them my information but never sent original paper work back to them for them to file a Disability claim, I just wanted an opinion but they ended up filing a claim I just found out today.

    So on my unemployment claim I have been able and available to work this whole time and looking for employment while I never had surgery. The day I learned they filed a claim without my permission I withdrew my Disability Claim. My question is will my unemployment benefits stop? Because they filed a claim without my permission? I’m currently available and able to work and always have been. I’d hate for my benefit to stop due to no fault on my end cause I never sign any papers. I need some advice if you can tell me what I need to do in my situation? Please and thank you I can’t get sold of anyone and Unemployment to talk to them about this.

    Beth A. Apr 3, 2021  #27

  • Patrick: Unemployment requires a statement that you are ready willing and able to work. STD requires, generally, that you be unable to work. So there’s a clear contradiction to receiving both. I can’t speak to whether unemployment will be impacted but I suspect if the STD carrier doesn’t deny your claim if it learns of the unemployment it will almost certainly offset any benefits by the amount you receive from unemployment.

    Jay Symonds Mar 4, 2021  #26

  • I live in Arkansas and was laid off while out on FMLA following a surgery. After my doctor released me to return to work (with some light restrictions) and I applied for unemployment. I did not realize my short term disability insurance would continue to pay until all the restrictions were lifted (an additional 4 weeks). Will this affect my eligibility for unemployment?

    Patrick Mar 3, 2021  #25

  • Shawn, generally speaking you cannot receive Short Term Disability and Unemployment at the same time. Specifically, with STD you are indicating you cannot work, but with unemployment you are stating you are ready, willing and able to work, so there is a conflict in reporting of information. Additionally, if you do receive unemployment benefits while on disability, the disability carrier will reduce what they pay you by the amount you are receiving from unemployment. I suggest you review your disability policy to see how your insurance carrier will handle the receipt of unemployment benefits.

    Stephen Jessup Dec 26, 2020  #24

  • I am currently on short term disability awaiting surgery on the 12th of January with my insurance. Am I still able to get unemployment while waiting to return to work in April as it is the time given by my doctor?

    Shawn H. Dec 25, 2020  #23

  • Roderick, you would have to contact your local unemployment office to verify what your rights might be in light of COVID, but generally speaking you need to be unemployed – as in terminated or let go – in order to qualify for unemployment. Even if you are awarded unemployment for two weeks, any funds you would get would likely be offset by the Short Term Disability claim, which should also be noted do not typically pay a benefit for the first 7 days of a short term disability claim.

    Stephen Jessup Nov 18, 2020  #22

  • I had covid-19, job say I can’t come to work, will get others sick, that equal unemployment. Doctor and government say stay in the house for 2 weeks, equal short term disability. Why can’t I claim both, it’s 2 different reasons I’m not getting to work.

    Roderick Z. Nov 18, 2020  #21

  • Danielle, you could, but they may hold it against you as you claim you can work if you apply for unemployment.

    Rachel Alters Oct 3, 2020  #20

  • If I am going out of std for work, could I also receive unemployment to supplement what std does not pay? Ex: my std will cover 67% of my current income, could I use unemployment to cover the other 33%?

    Danielle Oct 3, 2020  #19

  • Tammi, it’s a conflict as you are telling unemployment that you are ready willing and able to take a job if they find one for you.

    Rachel Alters Sep 8, 2020  #18

  • Can I receive unemployment and short term disability due to medical issues?

    Tammi Sep 8, 2020  #17

  • Noah: Did you have a question regarding your situation?

    Jay Symonds Sep 4, 2020  #16

  • I’m on short-term disability but also receiving unemployment from my company and also was notified that my insurance is no longer valid.

    Noah S. Sep 4, 2020  #15

  • Rania, you will need to contact your unemployment office as to eligibility. If you are, however, still employed while out on STD then likely the answer is no. Additionally, if you were to receive unemployment your disability carrier would likely be able to reduce what they pay you by the unemployment. Also, if you were eligible for unemployment you are asserting you are essentially ready, willing and able to work- which is in direct conflict with what you are telling your disability carrier and can be used as grounds to potentially deny your claim.

    Stephen Jessup Aug 26, 2020  #14

  • I have short time disability because of working conditions (I have asthma and where I work there is a lot of mold and air-condition dose not work most of the time plus my Dr said I am in a high risk to get covid 19.) Am I eligible to get unemployment and short time disability in Pa at the same time?

    Rania S. Aug 26, 2020  #13

  • Cindy, unfortunately I do not know the exact answer. That being said it can be a very tricky situation as to receive disability benefits you are essentially asserting you cannot work, but when applying for unemployment are stating you are ready, willing, and able to work. How unemployment will look at this I do not know and you would have to review the rules in your state. For purposes of STD claims, applying for unemployment based on the foregoing can result in a denial of benefits or an overpayment of benefits as unemployment would be an offset to the amount STD pays.

    Stephen Jessup Aug 20, 2020  #12

  • Does short term disability payments have to be claimed on unemployment?

    Cindy T. Aug 19, 2020  #11

  • Holly, you should speak with your Human Resources department and request a copy of your short term disability plan from them. They will explain the process for filing short term disability during the circumstances we are currently under.

    Cesar Gavidia Jul 23, 2020  #10

  • I’m on unemployment from covid and school starts 8/26. I’m a cook there and had one carpal tunnel surgery and am out til 9/2. I have another same surgery 9/14. Can I get short term disability as well?

    Holly Host Jul 23, 2020  #9

  • Ron, typically your Disability Insurance Policies allow the insurance company to offset for other income you receive. As such, if you fail to report it, you might end up owing an overpayment to the insurance company. Also, receiving unemployment benefits can be problematic to your receipt of disability benefits. If you would like to discuss this, please feel free to contact us.

    Alex Palamara Jun 16, 2020  #8

  • What if you got ill, was out of work got short term disability payments and you were able to go back to work with restrictions but job can accommodate. If you get approval for unemployment benefits, do you have to report the benefits to each other?

    Ron Jun 16, 2020  #7

  • Kristina, applying for unemployment while filing for/being on disability can be a very big problem. When you apply for unemployment you are certifying you are “ready, willing and able to work,” which is in conflict with short term disability in which you are asserting you cannot work. A disability insurance carrier can use this as a basis for denial. Additionally, receipt of any unemployment benefit would be an offset under the disability plan – so any money you receive from unemployment would be subtracted from the disability benefit.

    Stephen Jessup May 21, 2020  #6

  • I’ve applied and have an unemployment claim and am out on short term disability this week and next. I have to go into the unemployment site to ‘certify weekly benefits’ and one of the questions is whether I worked that week, and I would have to say no. I’ve been having trouble getting a hold of anyone from unemployment because they’re so busy. So I was wondering if a person is allowed to receive unemployment benfits while they’re on short term disability?

    Kristina May 21, 2020  #5

  • Larry, your long term disability carrier will most likely be able to offset your SSDI and state disability if your policy is employer provided plan.

    Stephen Jessup Aug 25, 2017  #4

  • Will use is unclear if I’ve been approved for SSDI and I have a long-term disability claim. Can SSDI offset my state disability? Also my long term disability vice versa can the insurance company offset both SSDI? Also my state disability can it be both offset by either company?

    Larry T. Aug 23, 2017  #3

  • Mollie, you will need to consult with your attorney as to the taxable nature of your benefit. With respect to SSDI, we do not handle SSDI claims so I would not be able to speak as to your situation. That being said, you are free to find new representation if you are not satisfied with your current SSDI attorney.

    Stephen Jessup Apr 25, 2017  #2

  • I had a company paid long term disability policy with Prudential. After declining me twice after my illness, I hired a lawyer and we ended up settling out of court. Should this money be taxable? Also, they considered my SSDI even though I have been denied that twice. They are telling me that once they settled, it is typical for SSDI to approve me since their guidelines are less stringent than Prudential. I am still waiting for a decision.

    Also, I have an attorney however they have not done anything to assist me in the claim. Am I allowed to contact Social Security directly or does the attorney have to contact them?

    Please advise.
    Thank you

    Mollie C. Apr 23, 2017  #1

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