An End to Concurrent Disability and Unemployment Payments?
Once again, Washington politicians have proposed legislation to prohibit collecting both Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits and Unemployment Insurance (UI) payments at the same time. A provision to eliminate this so-called “double dipping” was a part of the fiscal year 2016 budget passed by the House of Representatives earlier this year and now waits for action by the Senate. Last year other, similar proposals — as part of the budget process and as standalone bills — failed to gather enough votes for passage.
Supporters of these legislative attempts to limit benefits see receiving both benefits as a conflict, because to be eligible for SSDI you have to prove you are unable to work and for UI benefits you have to prove that you are able and available for work. However, Social Security advocates say there are significant differences between the two programs and that they do not have contradictory eligibility standards as even the Social Security Administration has recognized. SSA says that receiving UI benefits may be a factor in determining a claimant’s ability to perform “substantial gainful activity”, but “receipt of unemployment benefits does not preclude the receipt of Social Security disability benefits. The receipt of unemployment benefits is only one of many factors that must be considered in determining whether the claimant is disabled.”
At Cuddigan Law, we vigorously oppose this unfair reduction of benefits and are supporting the National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives’ (NOSSCR) strong opposition to the proposed legislation. For individuals who lose a job through no fault of their own and look to the unemployment insurance fund (which they paid into while working) to help them through a rough patch, reducing benefits is wrong and will drive more families into poverty.
Attorneys for Nebraska and Iowa, Cuddigan Law focuses exclusively on disability law. If you have questions about a Social Security or VA disability claim, call our office at 402.933.5405 or email us at [email protected].