Own Occupation Vs Any Occupation Policies
“Own occupation” LTD policies define disability broadly, as the “inability to perform the material duties of your own occupation due to illness or injury.” Thus, a firefighter who becomes unable to meet the demands of that job may be eligible for LTD benefits even though she could theoretically work in a less strenuous position.
On the other hand, under an “any occupation” policy, you are disabled only if you’re “unable to perform the duties of any occupation in the economy for which you are reasonably fitted based on your education, training, and experience.” Many disability policies, especially employer-provided group plans, shift the definition of disability from “own occupation” to “any occupation” after a period of time, usually 24 months.
Can You Collect Unemployment While On Disability
Social Security Attorney Guiding Applicants Through the Process
The Social Security Disability Insurance program pays benefits to qualified workers covered by Social Security who are unable to work due to a mental or physical impairment. Unemployment benefits, on the other hand, are intended to assist those who are willing and able to work but cannot find a job. These two programs serve different groups of people, such as those incapable of working and those who can and are seeking work. It is uncommon, although possible, for an individual to receive both unemployment and SSDI benefits. Since there are many nuances to the law, discussing your situation with a Social Security lawyer can help you understand the options available to you. At the Law Offices of Russell J. Goldsmith, our legal team has over 33 years of experience assisting clients with applying for SSDI benefits and can provide you with the legal guidance you need.
Overview of SSDI BenefitsBasic Information about Unemployment Benefits Claiming Both Unemployment and SSDI Benefits
However, it is also important to note that receiving unemployment benefits while applying for SSDI benefits can affect the Social Security Administrations decision regarding your SSDI application, and withholding material information may constitute fraud. In such cases, seeking the assistance of an attorney to handle and file your benefits appropriate claims on your behalf will prevent any potential adverse consequences down the road.
How Does Unemployment Insurance Work
For the most part, the UI system is funded by employers through the Federal Unemployment Tax Act and State Unemployment Tax Act . There are only three statesArkansas, New Jersey, and Pennsylvaniain which employees are required to pay a small amount of state UI taxes.
When a person loses his/her job, he/she can apply for UI through the department of employment of the state in which they worked.
Once the application is processed, the employer will receive a notice from the State requiring him/her to either validate or contest the former employees unemployment claim. If the claim is invalid , the employer can contest it.
The claimant does have the right to file an appeal for a denied claim, but the employer also has the right to appeal the States determination if he/she disagrees with it. However, if the claim is valid, typically an employer will accept it so that the worker can receive unemployment benefits.
If you are a worker wanting to apply for unemployment benefits, there are three main eligibility criteria to keep in mind:
While some states have waived this last requirement, many states require UI claimants to register for work with the State Employment Service.
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If You Become Disabled While You Are Employed
- There is a seven day waiting period for which no benefits are paid. Benefits begin on the eighth consecutive day of disability . If you have been disabled more than seven days, your employer must give you a Statement of Rights under the Disability Benefits Law within five days of learning that you are disabled .
- A day of disability is a day on which you were prevented from performing work because of disability and for which you have not received regular wages or remuneration. You are ineligible for disability benefits if you perform any type of work for which you receive wages or profit, even if performed at home.
Frequently Asked Questions On Unemployment
Frequently asked questions continue to change. The EDD website has an updated list here.
Can I file for unemployment if I am self-employed, an independent contractor or gig worker?
In certain cases, you may be eligible if you meet the following criteria:
- You chose to contribute to unemployment elective coverage and paid contributions to be considered potentially eligible for benefits.
- Your past employer made contributions on your behalf over the past five to 18 months.
- You may have been misclassified as an independent contractor instead of an employee.
- When filing for your unemployment claim, you will be asked for your last employer.
If you own your business or are self-employed, you should list yourself as your last employer. If you are an independent contractor, you should list yourself as your last employer. If you believe you are misclassified as an independent contractor instead of an employee, you should list the business you contract with as your last employer.
Be sure to include:
- Your gross wages and how you were paid .
- If you are a gig worker, you should list your gig employer as your last employer.
Would I qualify for benefits if I choose to stay home from work due to underlying health conditions and concerns about exposure to the virus?
You can be eligible for benefits if you choose to stay home. Once you file your claim, the department will contact you if they need more information.
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Types Of Disability Policies
There are two types of disability policies.
Short-term policies may pay for up to two years. Most last for a few months to a year.
Long-term policies may pay benefits for a few years or until the disability ends.
Employers who offer coverage may provide short-term coverage, long-term coverage, or both.
If you plan to buy your own policy, shop around and ask:
How is disability defined?
How long do benefits last?
How much money will the policy pay?
Loans While Waiting For Disability
Loan deferment and forbearance is a more viable strategy for people waiting for Social Security disability approval than attempting to borrow money from a lender. Few bankers will approve applicants with no apparent means of support.
However, several institutions will allow you to temporarily suspend loan repayment, helping you survive by postponing significant ongoing expenses.
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Option #: Apply For Other Types Of Support
There are a number of local, state, and federal support programs in North Carolina. These include:
- Food and Nutrition Services Available through the Division of Social Services
- Medicaid Provided through the Division of Health Benefits
There may be additional programs that interest you. Your local family social services office or Department of Social Services is the place to start. A social worker with one of these agencies will assist you in completing applications for any programs available to you.
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Contact Krasno Krasno & Onwudinjo To Find Out If You Can Collect Unemployment And Social Security Disability At The Same Time
At Krasno Krasno & Onwudinjo, we handle all Social Security Disability and unemployment benefits cases on a contingency basis.
In other words, our legal services are free unless we obtain benefits for you. If you are a resident of Pennsylvania and you are having difficulty obtaining unemployment and disability benefits, let us help you obtain the benefits you deserve.
If you want to know whether you can collect unemployment and social security disability at the same time, act now to set up your free, no-obligation consultation call 243-4823, fill out our online intake form or visit one of our 12 office locations throughout Pennsylvania.
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When Can You Get Unemployment And Disability
Because unemployment requires a claim that you are able to work and disability generally requires a claim that you cannot work, it is very rare to be able to get both at the same time. Situations where you may get both at the same time include the following:
- You are able to do some work that is not similar to previous work you have done.
- Your work does not rise to the level of substantial gainful activity.
A long term disability attorney can help you determine whether you meet these eligibility requirements.
Whats The Difference Between Long Term And Short Term Disability Insurance
Most people think disability is something that happens to other people, but its more common than you may think. More than a quarter of todays 20-year-olds can expect to be out of work for at least a year before they reach retirement age due to a disabling condition.1 And some of the most common reasons for disability claims include pregnancy, mental health issues and cancer2 conditions that might not be top-of-mind when you think about disability. Thats why its so important to protect yourself in case an unexpected illness or injury keeps you out of work for an extended period of time. But before you can choose the right protection for a potential disability, you first need to understand the difference between the two primary types of disability insurance: short term and long term.
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How Often Will You Receive Payments
This is another area that can vary. Fortunately, your payment questions should be answered clearly within your plan documents.
Be aware that if your employer works with an insurer to offer short-term disability benefits, then payments will usually be administered through the insurance company. That means they might arrive on a schedule different from the payroll timing youre used to .
Meaghan Tiernan, a senior copywriter for a marketing agency in San Francisco, used her short-term disability for maternity leave. She was given a debit card that her short-term disability payments were added to.
I think it was one lump sum every two weeks on an regular basis, she explains. They even include weekends, so it was typically every 14 days that I was paid. Then youd have to transfer the funds from that debit card to your bank account if that was your preference.
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Job Protection Under The Family And Medical Leave Act
A federal law known as the Family and Medical Leave Act provides employees with twelve weeks of unpaid leave per year to deal with ones own medical issues or to take care of a sick member of ones immediate family. Not all workplaces are subject to FMLA, and even in those that are, employees must meet certain requirements to be covered by the law. FMLA applies only to companies with 50 or more employees located within 75 miles of each other, and workers must have worked:
- for a total of at least one year for the employer, and
- for at least 1,250 hours in the preceding year.
Although FMLA leave is unpaid, an employee can receive short-term disability or long-term disability benefits while on FMLA leave. And, in fact, many employers require you to use your allotted FMLA time while youre on disability. For many disabled employees, FMLA is the most important form of job protection they enjoy.
Your employer may not terminate you if you are on FMLA leave as long as you dont go over 12 weeks of FMLA leave per year. When you return from FMLA leave, your employer must employ you in your former position or one that is substantially similar. If you do exceed 12 weeks of FMLA, even by a day, you run the risk of being terminated for excessive absences. Of course, if youre fired while receiving disability insurance benefits, youll still continue to receive benefits according to the terms of your policy.
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Can A Person Be Laid Off With Short Term Disability
Currently, many employees, who have not been outright terminated, may be temporarily laid off or be subject to various reduced hours plans. Some workplaces provide employees with Short-Term Disability and Long-Term Disability benefits that allow the employee to be absent from work for illness reasons.
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My Employer Offers Private Short
Typically, yes. If the benefits are integrated, the EDD will pay you an amount for SDI, and your employer or its insurance carrier will pay you an additional amount to cover some or all of the difference between SDI and your full wages.
If you dont know whether your employer integrates benefits with the EDD, ask your HR department or manager for information.
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How Will This Affect You
Historical data shows that during a significant economic crisis, a disproportionate number of disability claims will be denied the first time they are filed. This is a calculated effort by the government and insurance companies to weed out the people who are only filing as a way to have income temporarily and are not truly disabled. A person who is genuinely disabled will probably be denied as well. Disabled workers can expect to endure more denials, longer wait times for approval, and lots of claim scrutiny.
Will A Judge Ask About Unemployment Benefits At My Hearing
If you’ve collected unemployment benefits and you attend an appeal hearing, the judge may try to find out why you’re collecting unemployment benefits, or why you collected them until recently.
The disability judge may ask what jobs you applied for while you were collecting unemployment . If the jobs you applied for were ones that you’ve said you aren’t capable of doing , you may have a problem. If you’re in this situation, you may want to offer to change your alleged onset date to a date after you stopped collecting unemployment benefits.
Similarly, if you applied for a full-time desk job while you were collecting unemployment but you’re now telling the judge you can’t sustain any full-time work, the judge might doubt your credibility. You could argue that you probably wouldn’t have been able to sustain full-time work for more than a few weeks without great pain or other symptoms, or without getting fired due to low productivity or absenteeism . Depending on the judge, your explanation might be acceptable.
Keep in mind that federal judges have stated in the past that:
“A desire to work does not mean that a claimant can actually work,” and
“Receipt of unemployment insurance benefits does not prove the ability to work.”
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Legal Consequences Of Disability And Unemployment Fraud
Above all, be honest. You dont want to play games with state or federal law, and you certainly dont want to misrepresent or conceal any fact that might be relevant in determining your eligibility for disability and unemployment.
In a worst-case scenario you could be charged with a felony, imprisoned for five years and fined $250,000. Civil penalties are even more likely fines and reimbursement for improper disability and unemployment benefits already paid to you, for example.
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The Conflict Between Michigan Unemployment Benefits And Michigan Ssdi
An SSDI applicant must affirm they have a disability preventing them from working. As such, this affirmation directly contradicts unemployment requirements demanding applicants are willing and able to work.
While a person may legally apply for benefits with both agencies, they should be mindful that government agencies often share data. The inherent conflict of filing for both Michigan SSDI and unemployment benefits may bring into question the applicants credibility, resulting in a denial of benefits.
Nevertheless, when a person applies for both and is approved for both, they must inform Michigans Unemployment Department and SSA. There is a possibility that unemployment benefits may be reduced, or they may be forced to repay some or all of the benefits received.
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Other Resources Available For Disability Benefits Claimants
Given that it could take several months or longer for a disability benefits claim to be approved, it is crucial to secure other resources that may be available to you. At Disability Law Group, we will work with you to explore government, employer-based, and charitable benefits that you may be able to rely on while your disability claim is pending. These include:
Can An Unemployment Claim Impact A Disability Claim
To receive disability benefits, a claimant must demonstrate they have been out of work or will be out of work for 12 consecutive months. If a younger individual loses their job, files for unemployment benefits, and then drops out of the workforce due to a disability, SSA may question the timeline. Thats because younger individuals have a higher standard to meet than older claimants. Lets review an example.
Ex) A 35-year-old forklift operator loses his job and files for unemployment benefits. Each week, he checks a form that states he is actively looking for full-time work. Because he suffers from neuromuscular impairments that make it difficult for him to operate a forklift occasionally, he cant find a job. Eventually he files for disability benefits when his unemployment benefits end. In his claim, he lists the day he lost his job as the day his disability began.
When the claim progresses to a hearing, the Administrative Law Judge asks the claimant why he continued to look for work when receiving unemployment benefits. He answers by saying he could still do the work and perform other jobs, just not at his previous level of intensity. The ALJ finds that the claimant isnt disabled and per the program recommendations, suggests the claimant seek out less demanding work.
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