Senate Ponders Reducing SSD by Unemployment Benefits

An issue that has come up at recent Congressional hearings is the concurrent receipt of unemployment insurance (UI) and Social Security Disability Income Benefits (SSDI). A group of Senators recently introduced a bill that would reduce SSDI benefits for any month in which unemployment benefits were received. The bill is still in the Senate Committee on Finance.

The current proposed bill provides that for any month in which in an individual is entitled to unemployment insurance, the SSDI benefits for that month shall be reduced to zero. The Social Security Administration’s long-standing policy has been that receipt of UI benefits is a factor to be considered, but is not determinative of an individual’s ability to perform substantial, gainful activity. Another Memorandum from the Chief Social Security Administrative Law Judge similarly states the policy that a person may qualify for SSDI benefits, even though he or she remains capable of performing some work.

The Government Accountability Office issued a report in 2012, in which it concluded that under certain circumstances, individuals can legitimately receive SSDI and unemployment insurance at the same time. However, the GAO also indicated that receipt of both benefits could be an indicator of improper payments.

Ft. Lauderdale Social Security Disability Attorney Randy Zeldin, Esq. is available for free consultation in his offices located on Cypress Creek, his Boca Raton office on Glades Road or his West Palm Beach office on Australian Avenue.

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