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Tampa Workers' Compensation Attorney / Blog / Social Security Disability / Do Unemployment Benefits Affect SSI or SSDI Benefits, and Vice Versa?

Do Unemployment Benefits Affect SSI or SSDI Benefits, and Vice Versa?


Most people who receive Social Security benefits do not want to risk losing the monthly payments that provide partial replacement income. That is why many Americans who receive benefits through Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are reluctant to apply for unemployment benefits when they lose their job out of fear that they could lose their SSDI or SSI benefits.

Should you worry about losing your eligibility for SSI or SSDI benefits if you wish to apply for unemployment compensation benefits in Florida?

Do Unemployment Benefits Affect Your SSDI or SSI Eligibility?

The Social Security Administration considers unemployment benefits “unearned income.” Thus, these benefits will likely have no effect on your SSDI benefits if you are not working.

As for your SSI eligibility, things are more complicated. Since unemployment benefits are unearned income, these payments will reduce SSI dollar for dollar (after excluding the first $20 in unemployment benefits).

In 2020, the monthly federal payment maximum is $783 for an eligible individual. Thus, anyone receiving unemployment benefits that exceed $803 is not eligible for SSI due to excess income.

Under certain circumstances, you might lose your eligibility to collect unemployment benefits: These include but are not limited to:

  • Insufficient earnings;
  • Termination of employment for a cause;
  • Quitting your job without a good cause;
  • Being self-employed; and
  • Leaving your job to attend school.

Do Social Security Benefits Affect Unemployment Benefits?

Under certain circumstances and in some states, funds received through the SSDI or SSI program may reduce an individual’s unemployment benefits. Whether or not your Social Security benefits will be affected by unemployment depends on the state in which you love.

In Illinois, Minnesota, Louisiana, and South Dakota, the recipient’s unemployment benefits can be reduced by his or her Social Security benefits. If you receive benefits in Florida, however, you have nothing to worry about.

Not long ago, nearly half of all states required the adjustment of unemployment benefits for those who receive Social Security benefits. In fact, five states took away the recipient’s unemployment benefits altogether.

Can You Collect Both Unemployment and Social Security Benefits?

Generally, individuals may be eligible to collect both unemployment and Social Security benefits in two situations:

  1. You are under 62 years of age, currently receiving SSI benefits, actively pursuing work, not retired, and not receiving retirement benefits; or
  2. You are disabled to such a degree that you cannot work full-time and are receiving SSDI benefits, yet you are still looking for work to generate some income.

SSDI benefits will only continue as long as your monthly earnings do not exceed the maximum allowable limit. In 2020, that limit is $1,260 (or $2,110 if you are blind). Once you find work and earn over that amount, your SSDI benefits will stop.

Speak with our Tampa Social Security disability lawyer to learn more about receiving both unemployment and Social Security benefits at the same time. Contact Kobal Law to discuss your eligibility for unemployment benefits and SSDI/SSI. Call at 813-873-2440 for a consultation.





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