For most people who apply for disability benefits in New York, waiting for a decision from Social Security is the hardest part. In some cases, a decision could take months, sometimes up to a few years. Many people choose to collect unemployment benefits at around the same time they apply for disability, but choosing to do this might have an impact on the disability case.
For starters, when a person collects unemployment benefits, he or she is expressly stating they are "ready, willing and able to work," but have been unable to find employment. This is significant because you are representing to your state agency that you are physically and mentally able to currently perform in the workplace. On the other hand, when you apply for Social Security disability benefits, you are claiming that you are unable to work as a result of a physical or emotional impairment.
Therefore, if you are collecting unemployment benefits in New York and you choose to apply for disability benefits simultaneously, you are claiming that you are able and unable to work at the same time.
If you find yourself in this situation, understand that collecting unemployment benefits will not bar you from winning your social security disability case. In some cases, Administrative Law Judges will even disregard the fact you might have been receiving unemployment benefits for a significant amount of time. However, some Judges frown upon an individual doing this and might only grant benefits from the time the unemployment benefits ended.
Is it Legal to Collect Unemployment While Applying for New York Disability Benefits?
It's important to understand that collecting unemployment benefits while your New York disability application is pending is perfectly legal. A person's application for benefits will not be dismissed based on the unemployment benefits alone, but it could have financial ramifications.
For example, if you claim you were disabled starting January 1, 2007, but collected unemployment benefits from January 1, 2007 through June 30, 2007, your claim that you were disabled starting in January of 2007 is contradicted by receiving unemployment benefits and representing that you were ready, willing and able to work. It's possible that Social Security might choose to award disability benefits from the date the unemployment benefits ended.
In short, a person's application for unemployment benefits will be considered along with all of the other evidence in the case in determining whether one is disabled or not. You can still be found disabled even if you collected unemployment benefits while your disability application was pending.
If you have questions about your New York Disability Benefits, Our Attorneys Can Help
Contact our New York disability lawyers for a free consultation. We can answer your questions and inform you of your legal rights. Call us today at (866) 205-2415 and request your FREE report: The Disability Guys' Guide to Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits.