New Jersey Unemployment and Social Security Disability

Submitted by magpie on Sat, 01/28/2012 - 12:27

I became disabled in August 2009. I applied for SSDI in March 2010 (when state disability stopped at 6 months). I was initially denied and also on appeal. In June 2010 I filed for NJ Unemployment benefits. I had no choice because I had no income. Everything was, utilities, etc. I applied for and received food stamps. I was approved for unemployment at which time I stopped getting food stamps because I made too much. Go figure since I had so much catching up to do my benefit payment wasn't covering everything. It's a vicious cycle since I continue to go deeper and deeper into the hole. December 2011 I went before an Administrative Law Judge and she told me that day that her decision was in my favor. At this time I'm still waiting for my letter. As soon as I get it I will stop claiming unemployment but I have continued to do so, otherwise I'd be back to spring 2010. This entire situation and the financial stress has only made my disability worse. My plan is to use any retro award to pay everything to date. My fear is that unemployment will say I wasn't entitled to their benefits and take any retroactive monies I'm awarded.

My question is this...will the New Jersey Board of Workforce Development find out about the disability award and if so am I required to pay them back? I have looked for work to the best of my ability so I wasn't lying on my claim. :?

Posted: 28 Jan 2012 01:48 Post Subject:

Technically speaking, it is not advisable to apply for and receive SSDI and unemployment benefits at the same time. SSDI requires you to claim that you cannot work because of your disability. On the other hand unemployment benefit requires you to claim that you are able to work but you are unable to find work. So the basis of each claim is in direct conflict with the other.

However social security can allow you to receive disability and unemployment benefits at the same time.

A memo dated 15/11/2006 from Chief Justice Frank Cristuado has this to say:

… the receipt of unemployment insurance benefits does not preclude the receipt of Social Security disability benefits. The receipt of unemployment benefits is only one of many factors that must be considered in determining whether a claimant is disabled.


Therefore, it is the Social Security Administration’s position that individuals need not choose between applying for unemployment insurance and Social Security disability benefits.

However, application for unemployment benefits is evidence that the Administrative Law Judge must consider together with all of the medical and other evidence.

Having said that, I don’t think the Workforce Development Board will be coming after you. If they do, you will just have to present your case to a Administrative Law Judge.

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