CAN YOU REALLY HAVE IT BOTH WAYS?
The federal-state unemployment insurance program provides cash benefits to eligible workers. While state law determines eligibility for unemployment benefits, generally you must be unemployed through no fault of your own. In most states, you will have to represent that you are able to work, be available for work, and be willing to accept a suitable job offer. In Florida, the eligible worker can look for part-time work while drawing unemployment benefits.
If you meet the Social Security definition of disability, you are entitled to disability benefits and medical coverage under one of several programs. Disability is defined for Social Security purposes as the inability to work because of a physical or mental impairment(s) that is either (a)expected to result in death, or (b) has lasted or is expected to last for a continuous period of at least 12 months.
Often, when a client comes to me* for representation in a disability case after having been denied at the initial levels, I find that they have been collecting unemployment for at least a limited time.
There is an obvious tension and contradiction between the requirements for unemployment benefits (applicant claims they are able to work) and Social Security disability (applicant claims they are unable to work).