How do unemployment benefits affect a client's Social Security Benefits?
Unemployment benefits would affect SSI because it is counted as unearned income. So, each dollar of unemployment would count against the $733* unearned income limit for SSI. Unemployment benefits do not count toward the substantial gainful activity limit of $1,090* earnings per month because they are not the result of current work activities. Unemployment benefits would not affect SSDI in the same way. While technically it is possible to receive both unemployment benefits and SSDI, it gets tricky. When you apply for unemployment benefits you attest that you are ABLE to work but you lost your job through no fault of your own and are actively looking for work. When you apply for disability benefits you attest that you are UNABLE to work at a substantial gainful level. There are certain circumstances where someone might be receiving unemployment and become disabled after becoming unemployed or became unable to work while they were employed due to an illness or injury on the job. These individuals might apply to both programs but must actively seek work to maintain unemployment benefits.
*These figures are based on the 2015 Federal Benefit Rate and SGA amounts, which are subject to change each year.