Q: What will happen if I file for Social Security Disability while receiving Unemployment Compensation in Arkansas?
I meet the listing for Asthma under Social Security Disability guidelines -- I've been hospitalized twice in the last year for over 24 hours, and have had multiple other attacks requiring physician intervention. I was notified the day I returned to work after the first hospitalization that I had been chosen for "workforce reduction". I applied for and am receiving unemployment compensation.
I contacted a lawyer who advised me that it was okay to file for disability while receiving unemployment. I would rather work, and have been looking for work. But there's a strong possibility that in any new job I take, my employer may fire me in the first year if I get sick (no FMLA protection).
I have no issues whatsoever with making sure there is no duplication of benefits -- if I were approved and received backpay for the time I received unemployment, I would be happy to pay the benefits back to whichever agency they belonged to. But I have to pay my rent!
What should I do?
A: Do not file as long as you are on unemployment. You will get declined and the state may prosecute you to recover the unemployment. The two are mutually exclusive. In order to collect unemployment you must swear that you are both able to work and looking for work. In order to draw disability you must swear that you are injured and unable to perform work of any kind.
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