Will Drawing Unemployment Affect My Disability Claim?
Possibly. There is nothing in the Social Security regulations that prohibits someone who is drawing unemployment benefits from also filing for disability benefits. That said, many Administrative Law Judges have a problem with the credibility issue this raises.
The basic problem they see is that Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income benefits are intended for individuals that are unable to work at a substantial gainful level. At the same time, for you to receive unemployment insurance, you are almost always required to tell the state that you are ready and able to work. Many ALJs see an inherent conflict with you getting both of these benefits at the same time.
At hearing, a number of things might happen as a result of a claimant having received unemployment benefits. I have seen the receipt of unemployment be a deciding factor in the Judge denying the case. However, the most common outcome is that an ALJ will not want to pay the claimant for the time during which he was receiving unemployment benefits. Though there is nothing illegal about filing for SSDI/SSI benefits and unemployment benefits simultaneously, claimants need to be aware that it could cause serious complications in their Social Security claim.