Circumstances can be tough when a disability is preventing you from working. Social Security Disability Insurance or SSDI may be able to help, but that takes time. You may be waiting to hear back From the Social Security Administration on the status of your claim, or perhaps even in the waiting period before you can receive benefits. Many are looking for something to turn to, or even just something to be able to make plans with. Plans for rent, mortgage, car payments, utilities, groceries, and the list goes on. Is unemployment an option? Can you be on unemployment while filing for SSDI?
Legal Requirements for SSDI and Unemployment
There is a problem with trying to draw on unemployment while also applying for SSDI and it has to do with the legal requirements for both. There are a lot of requirements for unemployment, many of which you may know from taking advantage of the program in the past. Though many of those requirements may prevent you from being on unemployment, there is one large reason why being on unemployment and applying for SSDI are at odds.
Read More: What To Do When Your Disability Claim is Denied
A requirement for being on unemployment and your ability to continue to use it each week is that you have to be ready, willing, and able to work. However, when you are filing for SSDI benefits, you are stating that you are unable to work. You can see where the problem lies. Fulfilling the requirements of one disqualifies you for the other.
How Are You Supposed to Pay Bills While Waiting for SSDI?
Technically, you could find a job. You cannot make more than the substantial gainful activity or SGA amount to be considered for SSDI benefits. The SGA is set at $1350 per month as of 2022. However, do this with great caution. Though you can still be considered, they may use your continued work, even below the SGA amount, as evidence that you can still work.
There are other things that you can consider taking advantage of while you wait for your SSDI benefits. You can take advantage of any short-term or long-term disability benefits that you may have available. Additionally, many of the businesses that you pay your bills to may have programs that provide payment relief or assistance during hardship.
Look to your local resources as well. Many counties in Wisconsin have programs that provide a small stipend to individuals who have a high likelihood of being approved for SSDI benefits. There are also federal programs like TANF and SNAP that can provide assistance depending on your situation.
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