SSA's policy has been long been that the receipt of unemployment benefits is a factor to be considered in the disability decision but is not determinative of whether an individual can work. When an individual applies for unemployment benefits it is in effect a statement that individual can work but is unable to find a job. When an individual applies for disability it is a statement that the individual is unable to work.In August 2010, the Chief Judge of Social Security issued a memorandum telling the ALJs that the receipt of unemployment benefits is only one of many factors to be considered. Social Security's position is that a person need not choose between applying for disability and applying for unemployment benefits. The ruling is more subtle in application to individual cases as some ALJs use the reciept of unemployment to deny applications. However facts such as the physical demands of the jobs that an applicant is seeking, the age of the applicant and the efforts of the applicant to find work are relevant.You should seek the advice of an experienced disability lawyer to help answer these questions.

Timothy J. Cuddigan (Founder - Retired)
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Omaha Social Security and Veterans Disability Lawyer With Over 40 Years Experience