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Can I Collect Disability Benefits If I Got Laid Off?

June 29, 2021

laid off disabled worker

Being laid off does not mean that anyone can qualify for disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). Social Security Disability is not an unemployment program. Claimants must have a physical or mental condition that prevents them from working for at least a year or will result in death.

With that being said, if you lost your job and cannot find work because you have a physical or mental condition that affects your ability to work, you may be able to file a disability claim.

The Phoenix-based Social Security Disability lawyers at Dayes Law Firm have many years of experience helping claimants apply for the disability benefits they need. In a free consultation, we can review your situation and discuss your options. There is no risk in calling us and no obligation to hire our firm.

Licensed Lawyers. Call 1-800-503-2000

How Getting Laid Off Affects Disability Eligibility

To get a disability claim approved, the SSA must consider you fully disabled. There are no partial disability benefits available. If you can still do some work to earn substantial gainful income even after being laid off, you will not be able to receive disability benefits.

The aspect of working plays an important role in the disability determination process. Your ability to work will affect the kind of benefits you may qualify for, such as Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). It can also affect whether you qualify for disability at all.

For instance, to receive monthly SSDI benefits, you must have worked long enough to earn sufficient work credits and paid enough taxes to the SSA. This generally means working full-time for the last five out of ten years. Certain adjustments may be made depending on your age.

Should you not meet these qualifications, you may be eligible for SSI. SSI is a needs-based program with its own financial restrictions when it comes to income and resources. If you are laid off but your physical or mental condition does not fully stop you from working, you may be able to receive SSI benefits. However, you cannot earn over a certain amount a month. For 2021, this limit is $1,130.

Special Considerations for Disabled Workers

Sometimes claimants have worked with an employer for years and then got laid off. Other times, an employer may be aware of an individual’s health issues and give him or her special considerations to continue working. These considerations may include longer breaks, less work or even more time off.

A new employer is less likely to provide special considerations. This is why individuals who have been laid off with a disabling condition often find themselves unemployable and in the position to apply for SSD benefits. Those who file disability claims after being laid off are more likely to marginally qualify for benefits. Even with a serious medical condition, the SSA may think there is some work they can do. 

It is harder to collect disability benefits in these situations, but not impossible. To increase your chances of approval, we recommend seeking legal representation. A lawyer can help gather the evidence and documentation to support how your physical or mental condition impacts your work and home life. 

Receiving Unemployment and Disability Benefits

Receiving unemployment after being laid off will not automatically disqualify you from obtaining disability benefits nor will it decrease your disability benefits.

However, SSA examiners and Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) reviewing your claim will take into consideration if you are receiving unemployment benefits to determine if you are disabled.

Unemployment benefits require that you actively seek work. If you are able and willing to work, the SSA and ALJ may see this as an indication that your medical condition does not prevent you from working. You will more likely not be considered disabled and therefore be ineligible to receive disability benefits. 

Consult with an Experienced Lawyer Today

If you have been laid off with a medical condition and are thinking about applying for disability benefits, our firm is here to help in any way we can. Our lawyers are experienced in handling a variety of Social Security Disability claims and are prepared to guide you throughout the entire process.

An initial consultation comes at no cost or obligation to you. Dayes Law Firm works on a contingency fees basis, so there are no upfront fees for our services. We only get paid if we help you get benefits.

Here 24/7 to take your call: 1-800-503-2000

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