Can I Apply for Unemployment & Long Term Disability?

COVID-19 has impacted all areas of our lives, including our employment opportunities. Millions of people are out of work because of coronavirus-related issues. Some individuals developed the virus and could not work for an extended period. Other individuals have lost their jobs because of the pandemic. The unemployment rate in the United States increased from 3.8 percent in February to 13 percent in May. Over 14 million people were out of work.

Many people filed for unemployment. However, some individuals who became ill might have applied for disability benefits. Unfortunately, applying for unemployment benefits and long-term disability benefits at the same time could result in both applications being denied.

Unemployment Benefits vs. Disability Benefits

When you apply for unemployment benefits, you are acknowledging that you are able and ready to work if a job becomes available. The unemployment office requires individuals who receive unemployment benefits to actively seek employment. Refusing reasonable offers for jobs or failing to actively search for work is a reason to terminate your unemployment benefits.

On the other hand, when you apply for long-term disability benefits, you claim the exact opposite. Whether you are applying for Social Security disability income (SSI or SSDI) or applying for long-term disability benefits through a private insurance carrier, you are stating in your application that you are unable to work because of a qualifying disability.

The definition of disabled may differ slightly between government and private disability insurance. However, the common factor is that you are claiming you cannot work. 

Can I Apply for Both Unemployment & Long-Term Disability Benefits? 

Yes, you can apply for unemployment benefits and long-term benefits at the same time, but it is typically not a good idea. When you file your applications for benefits, you are contradicting yourself. On the unemployment application, you state you can work. On the disability application, you state you cannot work.

The state unemployment office may deny your application based on your assertion that you cannot work. Likewise, the Social Security Administration or the private disability insurance carrier may point to your unemployment application or benefits as proof that you can work. 

When Can You Receive Both Unemployment & Long-Term Disability Benefits?

It is unlikely that you will qualify for unemployment and disability benefits at the same time. However, there are always exceptions to the general rule.

can I apply for both unemployment and disability benefits

For example, you might qualify for unemployment benefits if you are partially disabled while receiving partial long-term disability payments. Even so, it is best to talk with a long-term disability lawyer before you apply for either unemployment or long-term disability benefits.

It is more likely that you might qualify for unemployment benefits followed by long-term disability benefits or vice versa. However, the application process can be tricky. If you file a second application for benefits immediately after the termination of the other benefit, your statements from your first application could impact your second application. Again, it is best to speak with a long-term disability attorney if you believe you could qualify for both unemployment and long-term disability benefits.

Another issue that you could encounter is the termination of your long-term disability insurance coverage. If you lose your job, your employer may terminate your LTD policy. However, some LTD policies remain in effect for a short period after employment terminates.

Therefore, contact an experienced long term disability attorney right away. Depending on your medical condition, you could qualify for LTD even though you are recently unemployed. You must act quickly to apply. If you later become unable to work, you may then qualify for unemployment benefits until you can return to work. 

Work with an Experienced Long Term Disability Attorney

If you are trying to decide whether you can receive disability benefits and unemployment benefits, your first step is to consider whether you can work. It can be difficult to prove you are unable to work without convincing medical evidence. A long term disability lawyer can help.

Your attorney can review your situation in light of the eligibility requirements for both unemployment and long term disability benefits. After a careful analysis, the attorney advises you of your options and the likelihood of success. Based on the advice, you can make a decision that is best for your situation. Moving forward without legal advice could hurt your chance of qualifying for long-term disability benefits and unemployment benefits.

Contact Our Long Term Disability Lawyer in Kansas City

The Law Office of Kevin J. McManus assists clients as they seek long-term disability and short-term disability benefits and after such benefits have been denied. If you have questions about disability benefits or would like to appeal a denial of long term disability benefits, please contact our law firm in Kansas City, Missouri.

We have a free book you can download right now to guide you through the process. Additionally, we offer free reviews of denial letters from a disability insurance company and can offer a strategy on how to fight back.  Whatever you choose to do, don't wait - call today at 816-203-0143.

Kevin J. McManus
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Kevin McManus is a nationally recognized personal injury and long-term disability attorney in Kansas City, MO.
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