Can I Receive Unemployment While Collecting Long-Term Disability?
The short answer is “probably not.” While there may be exceptions, long-term disability (LTD) and unemployment insurance are usually mutually exclusive. That’s because LTD benefits are intended for people who are disabled–that is, unable to work. The same is true for Social Security Disability. But, state unemployment insurance programs typically require that recipients be willing, able, and available to work. In other words, it’s usually impossible to fulfill the requirements for both LTD and unemployment insurance.
In fact, applying for both could be risky legally. The two applications might require you to attest to conflicting claims. If you believe you may be qualified for both long-term disability benefits and unemployment, it’s in your best interest to talk to an experienced disability benefits advocate right away, before you file an application for either benefit.
Unemployment Insurance v Long-Term Disability Benefits
How Does Unemployment Insurance Work?
In nearly all U.S. states, employers are required to pay unemployment insurance premiums or pay into a state unemployment program. Employees earn access to these benefits by having sufficient recent earnings from employment. To be eligible, the employee must also have been terminated from employment or quit for one of a small number of acceptable reasons. In most states, an employee terminated for cause will not be eligible.
How Does Long-Term Disability Work?
Long-term disability is a type of insurance, which may be purchased directly or provided by your employer. A long-term disability policy typically pays a percentage of your regular income if you become disabled–usually 50-67%. To qualify, you must meet the policy definition of disabled. LTD policies often include offset provisions, meaning that if you receive SSDI or certain other benefits, your LTD payout may be reduced.
Who May Be Eligible for Both LTD and Unemployment?
The narrow exception that might allow a small percentage of disabled workers to receive both LTD and unemployment hinges on the policy definition of “disabled.” Usually, it will mean that the insured is unable to engage in gainful employment. However, some policies may have more specific definitions, such as being unable to perform your current job duties or being unable to work in a particular industry.
In that case, the disabled worker may technically qualify for both LTD and unemployment insurance. But, it’s important to carefully review the criteria and any set-off provisions or exclusions. For example, a long-term disability policy may include a provision that allows the insurer to reduce benefits if you are receiving certain other types of compensation.
Contact Disability Help Group
To avoid any missteps, consider working with an experienced disability benefits advocate from the beginning.
Disability Help Group was founded by experienced disability experts who have been representing people with disabilities for over 15 years. Our team understands how to work with the Social Security Administration (SSA) in the best interest of the disabled person.
Social Security Disability claims require patience from the claimant, which can be tough when a person’s finances are in question. We understand, and we are here to help.
We have representatives across the country to ensure that your rights are being protected and the disability process is being properly followed.
To learn more, be sure to call one of our Disability Advocates now at (800) 800-3332, or fill out the contact form on this site.