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Can I Collect SSDI Benefits if I Applied for or Received Unemployment Benefits?

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Michigan Unemployment are two different benefits programs that have different eligibility requirements that can conflict with each other. If you get approved for both SSDI and unemployment benefits, you will need to notify the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the Michigan Unemployment Department.

You might have to repay some of the benefits, or the two programs might partially offset each other, thereby reducing your unemployment benefits. These situations are complicated, so you will want to work with a Michigan SSDI attorney to make sure that you do not get into trouble. Here is some information that could be helpful if you are asking the question, can I collect SSDI benefits if I applied for or received unemployment benefits? 

The Inherent Conflict Between Applying for Unemployment and SSD Benefits

You have to be willing and able to work to be eligible for unemployment compensation. When you apply for Social Security disability benefits, you have to declare that a severe illness or injury is the thing that prevents you from working.

If you apply for benefits from both programs and the Social Security Administration and the Michigan Unemployment Department communicate with each other, you might find yourself denied by both programs. If you do happen to get approved for SSDI and unemployment benefits, you have a duty to notify both programs of that fact.

Eligibility Requirements for SSDI Benefits

You must convince the Social Security Administration that all of these factors are true to qualify for SSDI benefits: 

  • You have a severe medical condition that meets the standards of the Social Security Administration’s Blue Book and is a long-term condition. For purposes of SSDI, long-term means that the medical condition has already lasted or is expected to last for at least 12 consecutive months, or is fatal. 
  • Because of the medical condition, you cannot work your previous job or any other type of gainful employment.
  • Your current monthly income does not exceed the substantial gainful activity (SGA) income limit. 

The second factor in the SSDI eligibility requirements usually causes problems when applying for unemployment benefits. You must certify to the Social Security Administration that you are unable to work.

How to Qualify for Michigan Unemployment Benefits

The Michigan Unemployment Department requires you to meet these qualifications before you can receive unemployment benefits:

  • You were employed before you submitted your application for unemployment benefits.
  • You are not employed at the time that you submit your benefits application.
  • You did not become unemployed through any fault of your own.
  • You are looking for appropriate full-time employment, and both able and available to work. 

If you certify that you are able to work, the fourth factor you must meet for unemployment benefits, then you most likely do not qualify for SSDI benefits, which require you to be unable to work. There are legal risks to applying for both unemployment and SSDI benefits. 

Sometimes it takes a while for the two government benefits programs to share information and discover the inherent conflict in the applications. When that happens, you might have a massive amount of money to pay back to the government. 

You should talk to a Michigan SSDI attorney before applying for both SSDI and unemployment benefits. Contact our office today for legal help, we offer a free consultation.