Can I collect Unemployment or Social Security Disability while I’m on Workers’ Compensation?

Most people don’t know that you can collect unemployment and Workers’ Compensation benefits at the same time. If you are out of work, and considered partially disabled you may be eligible to receive both. You should contact the Department of Labor, and file a claim for unemployment immediately. Keep in mind that, as mentioned above, you will not be eligible for unemployment if you are totally disabled. In order to qualify for unemployment benefits you must be ready, willing and able to return to work.

You may also be eligible for Social Security Disability, private disability benefits (if you purchased a policy on your own or through your employer) or social services benefits if need be. You should consider each of these options to meet your financial needs. We can answer some questions about these benefits as well, although we do not represent people on matters involving benefits other than Workers’ Compensation and Social Security Disability.

Social Security Disability (SSD) is a federal program designed to assist those who are disabled and unable to return to work. It is different from Social Security Retirement in that you can receive cash benefits and partial coverage for your medical bills (Medicare) prior to age 65. If you are out of work for twelve continuous months, you should file for SSD as a supplement to your Workers’ Compensation case. They will take information about you over the phone and get your medical records. When determining your eligibility for SSD, they take into consideration your age, disability, level of education, and your prior work history. If you have filed for SSD and are denied, we recommend you contact us immediately. You only have sixty days to take action after you are denied, so call right away.

As short term and long term disability compensates only for disabilities not related to work you cannot collect if you are out of work and on workers’ compensation.

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